Help families financially devastated

A family with a sick child will lose


of their income.

Many families with a sick child are pushed into poverty. They lose on average 40% of their income, one of the parents usually having to stop working to stay by their child’s bedside.

Because a sick child impacts on the whole family, the Children’s Social Services workers are available to these families 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. Thanks to your gift, they help each year more than 600 families receive badly-needed direct assistance to cover transportation, meal tickets, parking, accommodations, medication, medical equipment and other basic necessities. Help a family today.

As you read this letter, my daughter is undergoing treatment at the Children’s. It pains me to think that Maritsa and I will once again be spending the Holidays going back and forth between the hospital and home. We have no family in Quebec, and due to Maritsa’s illness, we can afford little for ourselves.

Fortunately, you’re here. Every day, your support reminds me that I need 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, on May 23, 2014, 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 has leukemia. The news came as a shock, but in some way a relief; I finally knew what was wrong. I could also hope for a full recovery, but the road would be littered with sacrifices.

They told us Maritsa would need one of her parents to be with her full-time. I knew right away we’d have to cut back where we could: no Internet at home, extra activities or outings. I also had to stop working since Maritsa has a weak immune system, and can no longer attend school. And there were new expenses to consider.

How could I pay for all the travel back and forth to the hospital, my rent and her medication?

The first time I went to the pharmacy to fill the prescription my daughter needed, I froze. Ten doses came out to $1,700. Thankfully, I had the incredible support of Social Services at the Children’s. A social worker intervened, and I never worried about paying a medical bill again. She 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 means I can cook in the kitchenette on Maritsa’s hospital floor. It might not seem like much, but you should see Maritsa’s face when I bring her one of her favorite meals!

I understand that nothing in life is free. These past two years have shown me what true generosity is, coming from people I’ll never meet. Without donors, I couldn’t have helped my child. Without the Children’s, she wouldn’t be here today.

Last winter, we thought we’d been through the worst of it, but Maritsa continues to battle her leukemia. If all goes well, the worst will be behind us by December. Until then, thank you for giving to the Children’s and for giving families like mine the strength to continue.

Rose-Flore, Maritsa’s mother

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