Assisting Families

The Jeff Parker Charitable Fund provides financial assistance to families stricken with a cancer diagnosis.  Below are some of the stories of families to which we have lent our support too. 

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Untitled-2A testament to a Mother’s strength: Brenda was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and was referred to the Jeff Parker Charitable Fund by her social worker at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.  She was undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatments and her prognosis was good- as long as there were no disruptions to her treatment plan.

Brenda is a single mother to four children, with one son living at home.  Brenda has spent many years working at a homeless shelter, giving to those in need every day.

It was the week of Thanksgiving in 2013 and Brenda’s extended family was staying with Brenda for the week to celebrate the holiday.  Her son, who lives away at college, was home for the week and brought all of his belongings with him.  On Tuesday, November 26th, Brenda was at the hospital for a chemotherapy treatment and she got a call that would change her life.  Her house was on fire and two of her family members were en route to the hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.  Thankfully, her daughter and grandchild were ok, but her home was declared a total loss.

The Red Cross was able to assist with a hotel placement for the first two nights, but the remainder of the stay needed to be paid by Brenda.  She and her children had lost everything and only had the clothes on their backs.  After two weeks at a hotel, she was provided with a mobile home/trailer which was left in the front yard of her burned down home.  This is where she and her son would live until her home could be rebuilt.

Brenda learned that she was responsible for paying for her mortgage on her home even though it was destroyed in a fire.  This was almost too much for Brenda to handle.  She has breast cancer, is receiving bi-weekly treatments, and now she has lost her home and everything that her family worked so hard for.

The Jeff Parker Charitable Fund immediately contacted Brenda to offer support in any way that she and her family needed it.  We made a substantial donation to this family to help pay the mortgage on the home until she could get back on her feet financially, we replaced her son’s (college) laptop computer, and we replaced Brenda’s computer because she was staying in contact with her family and friends via a blog that she created, documenting her progress.  We also gave them a monetary contribution to help get them back on their feet without having to wait for the homeowners insurance money to arrive which was weeks away.  More importantly, we let them know that we are here for them.

This is one of the most difficult cases that we have ever experienced but because of donors like you, we were able to help this family without delay.

As of February 2014, Brenda is in remission and she is blessed to have a new lease on life.  Her house is being rebuilt and she looks forward to a fresh new start!


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PEACHESPeach’s Neet Feet: Through random acts of kindness, Madison Steinner and her team at Peach’s Neet Feet, creates and donates custom, hand-painted shoes to children living with disabilities and long term illnesses. Every shoe is designed to complement each child’s life, interests, and courageous fight.  What began as a love of art and giving has grown into a movement of kindness.  Through her work, Madison is raising consciousness about generosity.

These personalized, one of a kind gifts lift the spirits of children and their families. When a child is fighting an illness, the whole family is impacted. With the web of caring individuals and the gift of personalized shoes, families are supported and strengthened. The only thing that PNF asks for in return is for the child and/or family to spread kindness to another person.

Liam, one of our friends from Sherry’s House, and an avid Boston sports fan was a recipient of a pair of Peach’s Neet Feet sneakers.  One of our board members, who works for the Kraft Group, helped to coordinate the shoe delivery at Gillette Stadium!  Liam was treated to a private tour of the Stadium with his family and received his cool new sneakers right on the football field.

The Jeff Parker Charitable Fund is proud to be a financial supporter of Peach’s Neet Feet and made a donation to keep the “movement of kindness” going!

www.peachsneetfeet.com

peehes helmet     peaches 2


 

danny 2Danny is a typical 5 year old boy; he loves to run around and play with his little brother and nine cousins.  He and his family live in Foxboro and they are all huge Patriots fans!

Danny was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) on October 24, 2013. Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG) are highly aggressive and difficult to treat tumors found at the base of the brain.  Since his diagnosis, Danny underwent twice-weekly chemotherapy and radiation therapy and responded well to the treatments.  He was so brave throughout the whole process even when it was painful and scary.  His family was amazed by his tolerance and ability to maintain a positive attitude through it all.

Daniel, his brother, and his mother moved in with his grandparents in order to help save money because the cost of medications and traveling to and from Boston was so costly.

We learned of this family through members of our donor-base and we contacted them immediately.

The Jeff Parker Charitable Fund was able to set up a very fun day for Daniel and his family.  Daniel and 20 of his closest family members came to Gillette Stadium for a private behind-the-scenes tour, Daniel was given a gift card for a shopping spree at Patriot Place, and they were all treated to lunch at CBS Scene, and had a guided tour of the Patriots Hall of Fame.  Daniel and his family also received a financial contribution from the Jeff Parker Charitable Fund to help with his ongoing expenses.

 

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karenKaren was born and raised in Lexington, but now lives in Framingham.  She has been battling cancer for 5 years.  She was originally diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and made the decision to have a radical mastectomy and hysterectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation hoping that it would eliminate the disease.  Unfortunately, her cancer has spread.   She and her husband have a beautiful eleven year old daughter, so Karen is determined to win this fight!

Karen needs to work full time to maintain her health insurance and often goes to work very ill due to the side effects from treatments because she has used up all of her sick and vacation time.  If she needs any time off for appointments or procedures, that time is unpaid.  Through it all, she remains upbeat and her positive attitude is carrying her through this most difficult time.  She is truly an inspiration!

Karen and her husband, like many families dealing with a cancer diagnosis, are struggling financially.  Her outstanding bills continue to pile up every day.  They are trying to be responsible and instead of just ignoring the bills, they pay as much as they can to stay in control.  They are now at the point where they are spending so much on medications and co-pays that the other bills (utilities and “life” costs) are mounting.  They are doing the best they can, but it’s not enough.

The Jeff Parker Charitable Fund made a sizable donation to Karen’s family to help them pay off some bills and we will maintain contact with her to provide additional support as she continues her fight.


 

markMark and his family live in Wrentham and are very active in the community.  In 2012, Mark was diagnosed with two types of cancer and needed to undergo major surgery of his abdomen, followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  This really took a toll on Mark, physically and financially.  He is the breadwinner of the family and because of his surgery and treatments; he was out of work for quite a while.

Mark works in the restaurant business and he doesn’t get paid if he misses work.  With his illness, he fell behind on his mortgage, utility bills, and car payments.  The Jeff Parker Charitable Fund helped Mark and his family by providing the funds to catch up on those bills.  In addition, we learned that his family only has one car and it was in need of repairs.  We were able to cover the cost of fixing the vehicle so that it was safe for them to drive.

Mark is doing very well and is incredibly grateful to the Jeff Parker Charitable Fund for helping his family.  He is back to work part time and  is looking forward to what h
is future holds.


 

maragaretFinancial Contribution to the Margaret White Family Endowment Fund at Sherry’s House

Sherry’s House is a place where kids and their families can come and receive the support and encouragement they need to fight childhood cancer, together.

Sherry’s House provides eight bedroom lodging for child cancer patients, their families, and caregivers, throughout the cancer treatment process.  Families come from all over the United States, as well as, Puerto Rico and Canada to stay at Sherry’s House absolutely free of charge while their child is receiving treatment at any Massachusetts hospital.

In addition, Sherry’s House is home to Child and Family Activities and Events: Family Fun Events, social visits, celebrations, mentoring and survivorship programs.  It houses our volunteer programs, Cancer Resource and Research Center, the Children’s Learning Center, and the organizational home of Why Me.

The Jeff Parker Charitable Fund has made several financial contributions to Sherry’s House since learning about them two years ago. We plan to continue the relationship with them because we have seen the incredible work that they do first hand and we believe in their Mission.

Margaret White began her life’s work at Sherry’s House back in 1987 after the loss of her son, Jason White, to a rare form of leukemia.  Sherry’s House was not only her second family but it was her lifeline.  She wasn’t sure she would make it through the loss of her son Jason, but working for Sherry’s House helped keep her son’s memory alive while helping her heal.  She would be there for the families twenty-four hours a day, whether a page in the middle of the night to go to the hospital and sit with a family, bring a toy to a child in clinic, provide support and guidance, or just listen. It didn’t matter; Margaret was always available to the families.  She opened her life, her heart and her home to the families and children for 27 years.  Margaret knew firsthand what the families were going through, she lived it. She touched all of the lives of the families, but most importantly, Margaret would tell you that every family touched her life.

After her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in January of 2010, she said the grace, courage, and strength exemplified by the children inspired her to fight for her life with the same courageous, resilient dignity. They showed her the way and they were her guardian angels.  On June 13, 2012, Margaret succumbed to her illness and joined Jason, Sherry, Ben and all of the angels.  Towards the end, she said it was because of the children that she was able to fight as long as she did and how grateful she was to have had them as a part of her life. She was a truly remarkable, inspirational, devoted part of Sherry’s House. She is, for many of us, a lifelong example of the healing power of service to others, prayer and laughter.  She had a joyful heart that will be forever missed by all those fortunate enough to have known her.

A “Celebration of Life” was held to raise money to support the Children’s Comfort Fund which provides hospital social visits when the children are hospitalized, celebrations for the kids birthdays and end-of-treatment parties, tickets to events when the children are well enough to go, and trips to local restaurants for individual families to enjoy quality time spent together. At the event, they (posthumously) paid tribute to Margaret because after she lost her son to cancer, she spent every waking minute assisting children and families dealing with cancer.

The Jeff Parker Charitable Fund was honored to be a part of this event as a guest and as a financial supporter.

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www.whyme.org


 

Donna GDonna is the mother of two college-age children and she lives with her husband in a modest home in Wayland. Donna is a nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Impatient Cardiology Unit.  She was at work last August and had a medical episode on the job. This prompted testing, which resulted in her diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, cancer of the plasma cells and bone marrow.

It was determined that Donna needed to have intensive chemotherapy and ultimately, a full bone marrow transplant.  She was told by her medical team that she should be prepared to be hospitalized for 6 weeks and not able to return to work for several months because her job (as a nurse) requires her to work directly with immuno-compromized patients.

Right around the time of Donna’s diagnosis, her husband was laid off from his job after seven years with the same company.  Her medical bills piled up and so did her stress. The Jeff Parker Charitable Fund paid for Donna’s mortgage for the months that she was unable to work, for all utilities, and for her children’s college loan payments so that she could focus on her health.

On December 19th, Donna entered the hospital for a week-long preparation dosage of Cytoxan (intensive chemotherapy) and on January 4th, she had a full bone marrow transplant.  She is doing well today but her recovery is slower than she expected.  She is incredibly grateful to our Fund for helping her family in her time of need and she promises to “pay it forward” when she regains her strength.


 

Joseph was diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer in early 2012.  He lives in Foxboro with his wife and he is currently unable to work due to his health.  His wife works at the local Dunkin Donuts and they share one vehicle.  Joseph’s cancer team is at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, so it has been very difficult for him to get a ride to and from the hospital twice per week for treatments.  His wife needs to be at work because it’s their only income at this point.  This has been very stressful for them because Joseph’s cancer is responding to the treatments and he really needs to be there for every appointment.

We were contacted by Joseph’s social worker at the hospital, and she shared his situation with us.  She explained that he could really benefit from transportation assistance and we began working on it right away.

The Jeff Parker Charitable Fund was able to secure transportation through a car service in Foxboro that took Joseph to every appointment, twice per week, and then returned Joseph to his home.  We also made a monetary contribution to Joseph and his family to help them through this difficult time.

We received an update from his social worker that Joseph has completed his last treatment and his prognosis is very good.  She praised us for stepping up to help a total stranger and said that we absolutely contributed to his progress.  In her words, he is a changed man.  A weight has been lifted from his shoulders and we (JPCF) should be very proud to have helped someone who truly needed it.

 


Yan

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 Yan pictured above with his check from the Jeff Parker Charitable Fund