It should have been just another Tuesday morning. Instead, it was the day that rocked our lives. On November 22, 2017, cancer struck our children for the second time. After the miracle of our oldest son ﬁghting and beating leukemia, we learned that our youngest son, 7-year-old Javier, had the same horrible disease.
Our battle began, once again. Only this time we knew what lay ahead. Javier faced three years of chemotherapy. Three years of putting poison in his growing body to kill the cancer that threatened his life. Three years of trying to keep his appetite up and protect him from the most minor childhood illnesses that, because of his weakened immune system, could also end his life.
This time it would be more difficult. We were living in our newly adopted country of Canada. We had no friends or family to support us.
We knew the Children’s is one of the best pediatric hospitals in North America, with cutting-edge equipment and the most outstanding medical experts from around the world. We were very grateful for the care he received.
But ﬁnancially, it was hard. I could not return to work. My husband wanted desperately to be there for Javier. He took all his sick days and holidays to join me by Javier’s side. Then his work hours were cut.
The bills began to pile up. We were being crushed by the struggle to make ends meet.
There was just one thing that kept us from falling into despair. YOU. Because of your support, our family was able to do the things every parent wants to do for their child, provide a safe home and put food on the table. Your donations meant that we were able to receive ﬁnancial help with our rent, to buy food…
We were just one of the many families who are devastated by a child’s illness. Each year, the Tiny Tim Fund at the Children’s provides ﬁnancial aid to more than 600 families. This can range from help to pay for expensive medication, bills, food vouchers and even housing for families who live outside the Montreal area. For those of us who do not have a car, and whose child is far too sick to take a bus or metro, it is a great comfort to know that your support will also cover the cost of transportation to and from the hospital.
As a business leader, your generosity provides a lifeline, giving parents like us much-needed breathing room and the opportunity to concentrate on what is most important – helping our child get well.
This is why I am asking you to support families like mine so that Javier, and other kids like him, have the chance to grow up and live healthy, happy lives.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,
Valentina, Javier’s mom
*All names have been changed in order to protect the identity of the family.