Words cannot express what we felt when we opened up the mail and saw the generous donation blessed upon our family! After having our 17-year-old daughter, Hailey, diagnosed with Chordoma (cancer) in early August 2017, smiles were limited in our family. My husband and I spent the month of August going back and forth, between CHOP and our home,so that we could be with our other 2 children while wondering what the future held for Hailey. She had to have 2 major surgeries (one posterior and the other anterior) to remove the cervical spine tumor that grew out of C2 and was attached to several other vertebrae, along with being wrapped around her major artery. All while enduring this, we had to prepare ourselves to tell her it was cancer.
She finally came home after 26 days at CHOP, missing out on her Senior pictures, her last first day of school, and all the end-of-Summer things her friends were doing. The hospital stays continued periodically after she came home but we finally had our “baby” home. Then came time for the 44 high doses of radiation. We traveled to Penn five days a week from October to December so that she could get her treatments and close yet another chapter in her Cancer story. She successfully finished all of her treatments and now we will wait for the MRIs to let us know where our lives will lead next.
Throughout all these struggles, we had other financial burdens cross our path and knew that Christmas was approaching. Even though our lives weren’t “normal” anymore we tried to live as if nothing was different so that the Cancer wouldn’t control our lives. But putting money out for gas, food, and missing many days of work made this harder to do than we imagined. The last thing I wanted was to not be able to have the Christmas my kids deserved. Cancer affected everybody in my family, so I wasn’t going to let it ruin Christmas and thanks to your organization…we won and Cancer was on the back burner for once. Being able to purchase Christmas gifts, and not have to use money that was intended for bills or daily living, was the greatest feeling! We had a weight lifted off of our shoulders and this couldn’t have been made possible without our “Superheroes.” We will be forever humbled by what you did for our family and hope to pay it forward one day!
I attached a few pictures that captured our smiles.
With sincere gratitude,
Heather, Bill, Hailey, Brandon, and Harper