January 2019: Stories of Hope

Despite their emotional upheaval, parents and caregivers graciously offer a glimpse into their family’s experiences as their child undergoes treatment at one of the Me Fine Foundation’s partner hospitals.

Sometimes, families share stories with many details. They explain what life was like before their child’s diagnosis, and what life looks like now. Sometimes, the stories that families share are shorter. They may give us permission to talk about their child’s diagnosis or identify their hometown. They may allow us to share their names or how Me Fine was able to help their family.

Regardless, all of these families kindly took precious time to reveal part of themselves and their experiences with pediatric illness. Each month, we will share one or more of these stories. We want to underscore the incredible gratitude and honor that we at Me Fine feel in being able to provide a platform for these families to share parts of their stories.

This month, we want to share two of the countless personal testimonies as to how children and families end up getting connected to Me Fine’s mission.

Retinoblastoma. This is a type of eye cancer that begins in the retina and typically affects children. A diagnosis of retinoblastoma is how one Me Fine family ended up at Duke Children’s Hospital, eventually being referred to the organization for hope and help with specific financial hardships. The good news: retinoblastoma is a highly treatable cancer. Per Duke Health, “[i]t is estimated that 95 percent of children diagnosed with retinoblastoma survive this condition.” Still, the regiment of treatment and travel take an emotional and monetary toll on the pediatric patient and the entire family.

Down Highway 15-501, Jenny J. found her son, Samuel J., admitted to UNC Children’s Hospital for persistent asthma. Her six-year-old experienced difficulty breathing for more than two weeks. This was Samuel’s fourth hospitalization. The family hails from Dunn, North Carolina. Jenny and her family traveled for nearly 90 minutes one-way, when traffic was “normal,” each time Samuel required medical intervention. Samuel’s social worker referred his family to Me Fine for assistance. The organization, because of our supporters, provided Jenny a $200 grocery giftcard in order to eliminate one more out-of-pocket expense weighing on the family.

Each time you give of your resources and time to the Me Fine Foundation, we encourage you to bring these family stories to mind. Your compassion makes a difference, as each one of these families bravely attested.