When I took my 14-year-old daughter, Emma, to the hospital back in February, I knew something was wrong. She had come home from school and called me to say her leg hurt and her ankle was swollen. I thought she had pulled a muscle. When I got home, her calf was rock hard. We rushed her to the emergency room, where they later did an MRI. After a biopsy, I heard the words “Ewing’s sarcoma,” a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or in the tissue around bones. Emma’s tumor was in her calf, and she also had nodules in her lungs.
Never in a million years did I think she might have cancer. I was numb. I felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach. I couldn’t believe it was happening to my child. When she was diagnosed, we were told to try and keep things as normal as possible…and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Visitation rules at the hospital changed, and that put a huge damper on our spirits. No one could visit—no friends, no family. In the middle of it all, we were introduced to the Jay’s HOPE Foundation.
Emma has had tumor removal surgery, months of chemotherapy, and radiation treatment. Jay’s HOPE has been by our side the whole time. It is such a blessing to know people who make it their mission to help you during the scariest time of your life. There have been times when Emma needed special medical supplies. One call to Jay’s HOPE, and we had them. Jay’s HOPE has given us emotional support. They always seem to appear when we least expect it, whether it’s a text of encouragement or an offer to bring a meal to us at home or in the hospital. They have stepped in to help pay bills when they knew I had missed work for a while.
Cancer is a new way of life. It’s not easy by any means, but we are blessed with new people along the journey. The ladies at Jay’s HOPE have now become part of our family. Their love and support mean so much. They have been our light during our darkest days.
-April, Emma’s Mom
Consider making a year-end donation today to help childhood cancer families, like Emma’s, into 2021.