Friday, May 21, 2010

Meet Baby Sam

From Jill's Blog (Baby Rabies):

At the beginning of April, 2010, when Sam was just 4 months old, he had surgery to remove a lump from his scrotum.

On April 13th he was diagnosed with Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma and given a 30% cure rate.

I learned of Sam’s story through friends who frequent one of the boards on the His mother Cassie shared their story and asked for prayers of support. My heart ached for them and the tremendous battle they have ahead of them from the moment I heard of Sam’s diagnosis. I, like so many of you, followed Layla Grace’s battle with Neuroblastoma as she neared the end, and it tore me to pieces to think how unfair it is to lose a baby to cancer.

Sam may have the same form of cancer Layla Grace had, but there is hope for him. So much hope. His parents, family, friends and so many other people are willing to fight for him. Hard. He began chemo treatments on April 27th, and as of Cassie’s latest blog post, he seems to be handling round 2 pretty well.

Can I just say that I can not imagine the strength it takes to face something like this. Having a teething infant is hard, sleepless nights are exhausting, breastfeeding can drain you, but to eclipse all of that with a cancer diagnosis, chemo treatments and hospital admissions? Completely, totally unfair. UNFAIR.

I dissolved into a puddle of tears when I read this post on Cassie’s blog.

I hear people talk about what their kids are doing or what they hope they’ll do or become and I just desperately want him to make it there. Scraped knees, school dances, best friends, hurt feelings, swingsets and playgrounds with big slides, peeing on trees, playing in the dirt… I want him to experience it all.

To make matters worse… yes, worse… they now have to worry about finances and insurance. This is how Cassie explained their situation to me:

In order to take care of Sam I dropped to PRN or “as needed” status with my job, which meant that we were no longer eligible for benefits and starting in June will be paying for Cobra. My husband’s employer does not offer insurance and my husband and I are not eligible for private insurance due to preexisting conditions. At first I entertained the notion that I could still work 3 days a week, but soon realized that wasn’t feasible. We’ve only spent a handful of nights out of the hospital since his diagnosis.

Sam was approved for passport (medicaid.) The reason we would like to keep Cobra coverage for him in addition to the passport is because if for some reason he is dropped from passport and we need to add him back on the cobra plan there is a chance that there will be a waiting period before any preexisting conditions are covered if there is any lapse in coverage. We’re trying to play it as safe as possible. Cobra seems like a lot for us to pay for but is nothing compared to the astronomical amount we would have to pay for just ONE admission without insurance. But if worse comes to worst, my husband and I will just go without insurance.

I don’t know if this is divulging too much, but with my husband’s paycheck we can pay for our mortgage and bills and that’s it. There’s no extra for food or gas or necessities… and there’s really not $1,500 extra for Cobra. Next month our car will be paid off which will help. We are truly just trusting that God will provide and so far he has.

I reached out to Cassie because I wanted to help. I know I have the platform here to do so and amazing readers and contacts to help make it happen. With all the stress this family is having to deal with, medical bills and groceries should be the LEAST of their worries.

I’ve been working on this for a couple weeks, and I’m so excited to finally announce the #helpSam Fundraiser. Trust me, it’s going to rock. It has to. My goal is to raise at least $1,000 for Sam and his family, but how awesome would it be to blow that out of the water?! I know it’s possible. All the details, everything you need to know about how to make a difference with only $5 is HERE. Help me #helpSam.

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