Sometimes it takes more than the will to live for ourselves in the battle with cancer. In Eva’s case, she fought for her adopted son Michael, who became part of she and her husband Andrew’s family just nine months before her diagnosis. Michael came to them at age seven as a severely abused child, both mentally and physically, weighing only 25 pounds.
“He endured what could only be compared to a prisoner of war,” said Eva. “He had several suicide attempts before the age of six. It took the effort of many agencies and special angels, plus a pit pull attorney, to acquire his freedom from hell and give him a forever family with us.”
On June 24, 2014, Michael became part of the Vaughan’s family in a special ceremony. That year, he grew nine inches and gained over 35 pounds. There were many firsts in his life that year: he had his first set of friends, his first teddy bear, his first bed, played his first sport and heard “I love you” for the very first time.
“Michael would never have to worry about not having a mother that loved him ever again,” said Eva. “AND THEN…I had to tell my only son that I was dying because I have cancer. All the joy and celebration in our new journey as a family was replaced with planning my own funeral, working out wills and other depressing to do’s.”
New Day spoke with Eva’s husband, Andrew. When asked how New Day impacted them, he replied, “It was the difference between me keeping sane and going under. The financial respite kept us afloat and the care and thoughtfulness of Gina and Chrissie stopped me cracking up, basically, at a very bad time. It’s very exhausting for caregivers. I have to take care of our ten year old Michael , and look after Eva, take care of the house and so on,” he added.
What would Andrew say to anyone considering donating to New Day?
“It’s very simple,” he said. “There are many organizations and foundations raising money for cancer research, but very few give direct help to those whose lives are devastated by the disease. There is little practical help available for caregivers and, while we do everything we can for our beloveds, we have breaking points. I am close to mine right now. But we carry on because we have to. If you add the stress of financial problems to the fear of losing your wife and your son’s mother…it can be too much for anyone – however strong and loving and caring. New Day, by reducing some of my financial fears and stress, helped me care for Eva and Michael better.”
“Your kindness has meant the world to me and my family,” said Eva. “With your help, I will fight this cancer in honor of my son Michael. God bless you.”
When we talk of our mission at New Day, it is first and foremost to bring HOPE to those who need it the most.