When baby Gabriel was diagnosed with Leukemia at just nine months old last fall, his parents, Melissa and Curtis, knew that one of them would need to be with him throughout his intense treatment.
“When your child is diagnosed with cancer, all you want to do is be there and support him,” said Melissa. “Money is the last thing any family should ever have to worry about.”
Yet as they were dealing with a 35-day hospital stay and ongoing treatment that would last through this spring, they also felt the financial anxiety set in.
“It’s very stressful,” she added. “Putting together his treatment plan was so intense and you’re trying to figure out which way is up in your life and finances at the same time. We worried about losing our house, and we have two car payments – but we did have very good insurance. Our son is 100 percent our first priority and we talked about downsizing and moving into an apartment if we had to.”
Originally a two- income family, the decision to have one parent stay with Gabriel during treatment was not one they made lightly, says Melissa. As a nurse, she had a larger income, but her husband had better health insurance. In the end, it was decided she would be the best caregiver for their son, but the financial gap in income was daunting for the couple.
“From the moment I talked to New Day, I knew you guys were awesome and you would be able to provide some short term help. It was perfect timing and did exactly what we needed it to at that time.
“I could not believe how quickly New Day provided help. We gave (our social worker) our paperwork on a Monday, we heard back Tuesday and we had a grant on Friday! Probably within two weeks we had a full copy of our grant coverage, a gift, and a connection to Kiwanis for their holiday program. I cannot say enough wonderful things about New Day!”
After recently spending three weeks in treatment, Gabriel had been released from the hospital. Melissa was looking forward to the bulk of his major treatments ending in June when New Day received an update by email. ”We just found out yesterday that Gabriel has relapsed, making treatment much scarier and more unpredictable,” said Melissa. In addition to New Day’s assistance for Gabriel, the family has created a GoFundMe account to help with expenses.