Families We've Helped
" 'Your child has cancer' is the hardest thing we have ever had to hear. We didn't have an opportunity to plan and save for everything that was about to occur in the next 2 years of chemotherapy treatment. Our lives were flipped upside down overnight and we went from a 2 income family to a 1 income family. As if that wasn't enough 2 weeks after diagnosis our daughter was fighting for her life in ICU recovering from a rare GI bleed caused by treatment that was trying to save her life. Two days into a 16 day ICU stay our only income stopped due to a layoff but our obligations didn't end. We felt very overwhelmed and after months of saying no to help we caved and begin looking for help. After being turned away from many organizations due to our demographics, income over limits, type of cancer diagnosis and a few other reasons our social worker recommended BFF as an option. In a moment of uncertainty BFF welcomed us with a kind voice and assurance that everything would work out. Sometimes this unplanned & unpredictable journey is not always about the monetary value of help but it's about the random check-ins, conversations with laughter and the kind gestures reminding you that they are a part of your fight. We feel very thankful to have them as a part of our fight. "
- The Koger Family -
" A week after our son, Gabriel, turned 7, he complained of a bad headache and began stumbling into the walls. We brought him to the emergency room and were immediately transferred to a children’s hospital. The next day, he was in surgery to remove a tumor on his brainstem. We later found out it was a medulloblastoma. He spent 82 days in the hospital to begin radiation, chemotherapy and intensive rehabilitation, as the tumor removal left him with complete left side paralysis and the inability to speak or swallow. He continued with 9 round of chemotherapy over the next year, as well as his physical, occupational and speech therapies which still continue two years later.
This was a very difficult time for our family, especially Gabriel’s sister and twin brother, and we were struggling in many ways. We heard about Be the Fight Foundation through a friend and were honored to share Gabriel and our family’s story with them. This organization is not only there to help families like ours, but they care about us as people and continue to support us today. When Gabriel finished treatment, they participated in his end of chemo parade. They also wanted to help us celebrate further and with Gabriel’s therapies on hold for many months because of the pandemic, they gifted him a pool so he could continue with swimming to help his recovery. We cannot thank BFF enough for supporting us, caring about us and helping families who have been affected by pediatric cancer. Thank you! "
- The Meier Family -
" My son Austin was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2018, when he was three years old. His treatment started with nine months of intense chemotherapy. During that time, we watched him gain and lose weight, multiple times. We watched his hair fall out, multiple times. We watched him cry because he didn’t like how he looked. We watched him struggle with side effects: vomiting, numbness in his hands and feet, decreased coordination. He went through periods of not sleeping and not eating. He endured countless needle sticks, chemo infusions, and blood and platelet transfusions. Sedations and surgeries. Infections and inpatient stays.
Austin’s two big sisters have watched their little brother go through so much, missing school to be at the hospital with him and holding his hand as he got stuck with needles. They saw him get a lot of attention, a lot of presents, and a lot of love from everyone. They were shuffled around with neighbors and friends as we tried to coordinate all of the hospital visits. They knew what it meant to have a compromised immune system, even before Covid. They’ve dealt with difficult situations and asked questions kids should not have to ask. They’ve wondered about tomorrow and worried about the future.
Luckily, there are amazing organizations dedicated to helping pediatric cancer families, including BFF.
BFF stands for Be the Fight Foundation. But to be honest, the first time I reached out to them for help, I received such a warm response that I’ve always thought of them as my Best Friends Forever. They’ve helped us in so many ways! They’ve paid hospital bills. They’ve sent care packages with toys and t-shirts to all three of our kids. Last Christmas, they asked if we wanted a “Christmas BFF” who was looking to help a family like ours with a few extra gifts. They’ve been there to lift our spirits and help us heal.
Austin is in Maintenance Therapy now and is scheduled to finish his treatment in January 2022. Despite the difficult journey, we have every reason to believe that he will be cured, that his life will be long and adventurous, and that he and his sisters are all destined for great things.
We are so grateful to BFF for everything they’ve done for us. Our child’s pediatric cancer diagnosis tore our hearts to pieces; BFF helped put them back together. "
- The Miller Family -