Naea loves being active. She loves being outside. She loves riding her bike and finding animals and bugs, but for the last four months, she hasn’t been able to do that.
In April, we took Naea to our doctor in Perry because we thought she had a urinary tract infection. While we were there, I asked her pediatrician to look at some bruising on her arms and legs. After a few tests, we were rushed to the hospital in Macon. We were admitted, and for the next two days, my daughter underwent test after test. In my heart, I already knew what the doctors suspected, but I still held out HOPE.
I didn’t leave Naea’s side for more than forty-eight hours. When I was able, I went home to take a quick shower and grab some things, and then my mother-in-law called. Test results had come back. My four-year-old daughter had leukemia. From that moment forward, our lives stopped. We spent the next two weeks in the hospital, thrown into a world of needle pricks, chemo, and tests.
We heard about Jay’s HOPE while we were in the hospital. Their Executive Director, Cindy, came by to visit. She spread a blanket on Naea’s bed and started playing with her. I was immediately comfortable. Since then, Jay’s HOPE has become a major support system for my family. The world of childhood cancer didn’t exist for me until we got thrown into it. People don’t understand the financial burdens on families going through this journey. My husband missed three weeks of work watching our other children because I had to stay with Naea. Several times a week, we travel sixty miles round trip for treatment. Jay’s HOPE understands our battle and is there to help us emotionally and financially.
This is a whole new experience for me, but knowing that the staff at Jay’s HOPE can give advice, guidance, or just a shoulder to cry on means so much.
-Kristi, Naea’s Mom
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