Where Your 2018 Donations Went

Aside from direct family assistance, additional donations were given to Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK). Below are various success stories from some of our most memorable families. We’re proud to have been able to help them through trying times, and look forward to doing what we can to help others in the future. 

September 2018

Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Financial Assistance Program Testimonials Donated from Joey’s Fund, Inc.

Bill’s Story

Bill has a family of five, with two children in college and one in high school and an annual income of $600,000; after taxes his income came to $402,000.

Bill was the sole supporter prior to being diagnoses with cancer. Bill’s family monthly expenses include their mortgage ($13,200); college tuition for two children ($12,500); and high school tuition for one child ($2,000).

After his diagnosis, Bill’s annual salary decreased by 60% of his previous salary for a total of $340,000. Because of that, his family could no longer afford all their monthly bills, and they had to borrow from family and friends.

MSK’s Financial Assistance Program takes all expenses into account when considering eligibility and employs a holistic approach to calculating need. Bill quailed for financial assistance through MSK and was deemed fully eligible, meaning that he didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket.

Jason’s Story

Jason is four years old with a diagnosis of retinoblastoma. Initially his mother had him covered under her insurance, however, she was laid off and the insurance only remained effective through December 31, 2016.

The patient and his family reside in New Jersey and are over Medicaid guidelines, however, they do not have the money to pay COBRA premiums. The patient’s annual family income is $54,000 gross.

Jason’s mother is the primary caregiver for the patient who has been admitted 4 times since July 2016, therefore she does not have time to look for work.  They were approved for our MSK Financial Assistance Program and we are absorbing all charges via charity care funds. Jason’s parents were also approved for Social Work funds to assist them in paying for transportation expenses to and from MSK.

Marie’s Story

Marie is a 50-year-old Nursing Assistant with a diagnosis of lung cancer. The family of four had an annual income was $104,000.

Her son was diagnosed with severe kidney failure and Marie planned to donate one of her kidneys. She had to have a complete physical prior to becoming a donor and that is when they discovered her lung cancer.

At that point, they were enrolled in Union Local 1199 insurance which only pays 50% of outpatient services. Due to her illness as well as trying to take care of her son she was working fewer hours; therefore, their annual income had decreased significantly.

They were fully approved for financial assistance and MSK is accepting the amount that their insurance pays as payment in full, meaning no out of pocket costs for Marie and her family.

August 2017

Chrissy is feisty 7 year old girl with a recurrent brain tumor. She loves to dance ( especially to Chris Brown) and to play with her “baby dolls.” Chrissy, unfortunately, lost her valiant battle with cancer in March. Her mother, a single parent who was unable to work while caring for her daughter, could not afford the cost of Chrissy’s funeral. The Joey Fund graciously stepped in to cover the remaining cost ($1475). As you can imagine, Chrissy’s mother was grateful and relieved. She was able to redirect her focus from paying a bill to mourning her daughter.

Jack is spirited 7-year old boy with Hodgkin’s Disease. He loves school and learning in general. Jack has a photographic memory when it comes to music- so he can sing you pretty much any song or jingle that he hears. He was diagnosed in March just after his father was laid off from work. That in combination with the added expenses of treatment made it challenging to pay all of the bills. The Joey Fund graciously paid the family’s mortgage preventing their home from going into foreclosure.

Kim is soft-spoken 15-year old boy with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). His family fell on hard times and was homeless for a brief period of time. Eventually, they moved in with a family member. After a lot of hard work and perseverance, Kim’s mother was able to get back on her feet and rent an apartment of their own. The Joey Fund kindly paid their first month’s rent to enable the family to afford to put down a security deposit.

Carlos is a 22-year young man with a recurrent brain tumor. He recently completed radiation therapy. Carlos has significant short term memory loss as a result of both the tumor location and various treatments. He has a hard time finding a job and was unable to work while in treatment. He is essentially on his own in this county with support only from a cousin. Carlos tries his best to make ends meet but sometimes needs a helping hand. The Joey Fund provided just that in the form of a Walmart gift card. Carlos did not have any warm weather clothes and could not afford to buy them. He used the Walmart card to buy shoes, t-shirts, and a pair of shoes.

Hiralda is a sweet 5-year old girl with opsoclonus-myoclonus and neuroblastoma. She has significant developmental delays as a result of her medical condition. Her mother works hard to care for her and provide the medical and educational support that Hiralda requires. The family had a hard time keeping up with the PSE&G bill this winter and received a “shut off’ notice. The Joey Fund kindly paid their bill, ensuring that the family did not lose heat or electricity.

December 2016

Sofia is an adorable 1-year old with a rare genetic disorder, Pompe Disease, who visits our center every two weeks for a special infusion.  Sofia’s mother cares for her full time.  Unfortunately a few months back Sofia’s father became seriously ill and was unable to work.  The unexpected change in income made it impossible to keep up with bills.  The Joey Fund stepped in to pay two months of rent to cover the family until the father could heal and resume work.  It was a lifesaver!

Ziaira is an amazing 16-year old girl with sickle cell disease and autoimmune hemolytic anemia.  She had had a very rough year with respect to her treatment, medical complications, and hospitalizations.  In spite of it all, Ziaira has remained remarkably resilient, determined, and optimistic.  Her mother is the sole provider of emotional and financial support.  She had to take a substantial amount of time of work to help Ziaira through this challenging time.  The Joey Fund has and will continue to help with household bills such as the cell phone and PSEG bills.  The Joey Fund also provided a Shop Rite gift card.

Jacob (who you had an opportunity to meet) is an adorable 1-year old boy with sickle cell disease.  He is seen in our center monthly for blood transfusions and a checkup.  At the time you met him, his mother, Yngris, was more eloquently able to express her gratitude.  I cannot quite do it justice but Yngirs shared your assistance was a blessing at a time when she needed it the most.  She was not prepared for the emotional stress that comes with having a sick child and she has dedicated all of her time and energy to caring for her son.  Yngris is a single parent and has not been able to hold down a job consistently due to Jacob’s frequent visits and medical needs.  The Joey Fund paid their rent for 2 months and provided a gift card to Walmart for food and clothing.  On the day you visited, the Joey Fund had purchased a car seat for Jacob.

Journey is a sweet 1-year old girl with sickle cell disease.  She is being cared for by her aunt, Daisa.  They were struggling to keep up with their PSE&G bill and had a shutoff notice.  The Joey Fund stepped in to pay the bill and prevent them from being without electricity

Angel is a spunky and creative 11-year old girl with osteosarcoma.  Her disease, unfortunately, did not respond to treatment. Her parents stopped working to dedicate all of their time to her care and to spending quality time as a family.  The Joey Fund helped to enable this by paying their rent for a couple of months.  In total, this family received almost $4000 from the Joey Fund- a remarkable amount.  It was a relief for me as the social worker to be able to extend these funds to the family.  No family should have to choose between work and spending precious last weeks with their child.

June 2016

“AJ” is a shy 2-year-old little girl with sickle cell disease. She and her mother were living in a family shelter for six months. Mom was finally able to locate an affordable apartment but could not come up with both the 1st month’s rent and security deposit. The Joey’s Fund kindly paid the rent enabling this family to have a home of their own for the first time.

“JC” is a 6 year old who has Leukemia. He has relapsed and his mom’s out of work, which has thrown their finances into turmoil; she’s a single mom with 3 kids. With your funding, we’re paying to keep their electricity on. Thank you on behalf of this family!

“KB” is an adorable 3-year-old boy with leukemia. Due to social issues, KB and his brother were taken in by his aunt. The aunt was unable to work while she was caring for KB and taking him to treatment…. consequently keeping up with their electric/gas bill during the winter months when it was particularly high. To help compensate, the aunt started using a wood burning stove to help keep expensive winter heating costs down. This, unfortunately, exacerbated KB’s asthma. With Joey’s Fund agreeing to pay their heating bill, the aunt was able to again use the heat and create a safer environment for her nephew.

“OD” is a spunky 19-year-old girl with leukemia. Unfortunately, she had to stop working after her diagnosis due to the intensity of her treatment and complications the developed. OF does not have health insurance. Without income, she struggles to pay for her oral chemotherapy medications and medications to manage the side effects and complications of treatment. (She is on a substantial number of medications). The Joey’s Fund is generously covering the cost of her more expensive medications, enabling OD to have consistent access to live-saving medication. She is thankfully doing well with her treatment thus far.

News from the Executive Director of St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center Foundation

7/7/16 St Joseph’s is sending a bunch of our kids on the Pediatrics Hematology/Oncology unit to summer camp. We were able to provide them with backpacks for their stay with the funding provided by Joey’s Fund!

8/16/16 A family in Passaic County has submitted an application for Joey’s Fund. Their 4-year-old child has acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Joey’s Fund is paying for 1 month of rent, 1 month of car payment, and the purchase of a Shop Rite gift card!