Maritsa and the Cole Foundation

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

We are thrilled to announce that our Giving Tuesday campaign was a resounding success: We met our objective and then some! On behalf of the families who will rely on the Tiny Tim Fund this holidays season and beyond, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

For families of sick children, there is no magic “pause” button. In addition to facing the risks of COVID-19, many of them will be spending the Holidays going back and forth between the hospital and home. Maritsa’s mom knows how that feels – her daughter had to spend Christmas at the Children’s twice. For parents like her, their child’s illness adds a financial burden that for many has only worsened due to the pandemic. Below, Maritsa’s mom explains how she coped…

MaritsaWhen I think back, I know I drew strength from caring people like you. You see, we have no family in Quebec, and due to Maritsa’s illness, we could afford little for ourselves. Yet, every day, the support of donors allowed me to stay strong in the face of my daughter’s illness.

For over a year, I went from clinic to clinic to understand why my daughter had such frequent fevers and nausea. They told me it was a viral problem each time. Then, in May, a few years ago – a day I’ll never forget – my 4-year-old’s feet were so swollen she couldn’t walk. She was suffering. I took her to the Children’s, where the ER doctor told me: “A doctor in the oncology department would like to speak with you.” My stomach was in knots.

Maritsa had leukemia. The news came as a shock, but in some ways a relief; I finally knew what was wrong. I could also hope for a full recovery.

They told us Maritsa would need one of her parents to be with her full-time. I knew right away I would have to stop working and we’d have to cut back where we could: no internet, no outings... And there were new expenses to consider.

How would I pay for all the travel to and from the hospital, my rent and her medication?

 

The first time I went to the pharmacy to fill Maritsa’s prescription, I froze. Ten doses came out to $1,700. Thankfully, I had the incredible support of Social Services at the Children’s and I never worried about paying a medical bill again. They also told me that thanks to the Tiny Tim Fund, I would receive financial aid to help with groceries when I was with Maritsa at the hospital, which meant I could cook in the kitchenette on Maritsa’s hospital floor.

It might not seem like much, but Maritsa’s face lit up when I brought her one of her favorite meals!

I understand that nothing in life is free. These past few years have shown me what true generosity is, coming from people I’ll never meet. Thanks to donors like you, I was able to take care of my child. Thanks to the Children’s, my child is now curious and full of energy. I thank you for helping the Children’s giving families like mine the strength to continue and for helping Quebec’s children get back on their feet.

Rose-Flore, Maritsa’s mother

*Did you know that each year the Hospital assists over 600 families who need financial aid? This holiday season, you have an opportunity to double the impact of your gift, for children like Maritsa! Until midnight December 1st, your gift will be matched by the Cole Foundation, up to a total of $20,000.

 
Marista and her mom