Why “Me Fine”?
With so many tests, procedures and medications, you might expect a two-year-old child to act fussy or, at the least, weary…but when he was going through these horrendous treatments, you could ask, “Folden, how are you today?” Without fail, his answer was always, “ME FINE!”
Me Fine Foundation, Inc. was founded by friends and family of Folden Lee IV who was diagnosed with AML Leukemia in May, 2003. He received several rounds of chemotherapy at UNC Children’s Hospital but relapsed shortly after treatment. He then survived two consecutive cord blood transplants and extensive radiation at Duke Children’s Hospital. In spite of gallant efforts, the leukemia cells once again returned. Folden was 2 years old.
During the 15 month battle with this disease, Folden’s family found that along with the tremendous stress of caring for a child with a life threatening illness, most families are also weighted down with overwhelming medical costs. Additionally, families are obligated to provide personal outpatient housing and living expenses while their child is undergoing treatment. Some caregivers lose their jobs, their homes and are separated from other family members for extended periods while their child is receiving treatment. Resources for these kids are extremely limited.
Me Fine was founded in order to pool resources for families facing life changing challenges. No one can change what these children are forced to endure medically, but our combined efforts can certainly change the financial burdens of their caregivers and make their countless days in the hospital a little easier to endure.
Although the Foundation has grown significantly over the past few years, Me Fine continues to be operated by the initial members and has made a significant difference for many families enduring the same hardships and struggles that Folden’s family witnessed firsthand.
To learn more about the Lee family’s journey, please visit Folden’s Caringbridge journal.