A family experiences a host of emotional and financial stressors when they are faced with the shocking diagnosis of cancer or a blood disorder. With expenses such as child care for healthy siblings, and reduced employment for the parent that stays with their sick child, they may have trouble paying their rent or mortgage or putting food on the table. This is where The Valerie Fund restores a certain measure of "quality of life" for our patients and families in the form of Emergency Funding. Through the generosity of our donors, we can help with life's basic necessities and purchase items that make a huge difference in the lives of our patients and families.
The Valerie Fund provides emergency funds to Valerie fund families who need help meeting their basic financial needs. A single father who is self-employed as a cab driver misses work every two weeks when he brings his daughter to the Center for transfusion due to her history of stroke: he also had to cut back on his hours when business was slow in December and January. As a result, he is behind on the rent. A 19-year-old patient with osteosarcoma has been undergoing extensive treatment for over a year. His mother cut down on her work house to be present for her son, so the family is experiencing financial stress.
Social workers who identify families in need of assistance are able to turn to the Ed and Suzann Goldstein Emergency Fund, as well as the McKinley Place Hematology Emergency Fund. Social workers at the CHOP Center in Voorhees have access to the Holman Foundation Emergency Fund set up specifically for families served there.
Autumn Banta, Social Worker at Newark Beth Israel, recently reached out to The Valerie Fund about one of her newly diagnosed patients. Aldair is a 16-year-old from Peru and in January, was admitted to the hospital and was found to have stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma. Aldair and his family had a difficult time coping with his diagnosis. His mother is now unable to work due to his illness and has two younger daughters.
Because of the tremendous amount of pain Aldair was experiencing he was hospitalized. The medical team decided to do a palliative care consult with him and his mom. He said that he wanted to learn guitar and play Peruvian music. Autumn asked if The Valerie Fund could purchase a guitar so Aldair could attain this goal, which we purchased through the Ed & Sue Goldstein Emergency Fund. When Autumn gave the guitar to Aldair, he was so excited. Aldair is now learning all he can about the guitar.