We are pleased to share some testimonials, letters, thank you notes and stories of Team Chad’s impact on the families and patients whose lives are directly affected by leukemia. These are just a few examples of how Team Chad donations are used to directly help people in our community.
Stories of Hope Made Possible by Team Chad
Theresa, now 28, received help from Team Chad when she was 25. Theresa had undergone two transplants (an Auto and Allo transplant). A year post transplant, she made only $550 a month in Social Security Disability benefits. Her supplemental assistance through the government had been terminated. She lost that supplemental assistance because she started working part-time in a fast food restaurant. Imagine this scenario: 25, a year out of two transplants, single, and working.
That's where Team Chad and you stepped in. You helped pay her rent while she was undergoing treatment. Fast forward three years and Theresa is now 28. Six months ago, a nurse relayed to us the following information: Theresa, who was in the hospital for another transplant, gave me a $5.00 bill and asked me to give it to someone who needed lunch. This young woman, who makes below poverty level, gave from what little she had to help others in need. I passed that $5.00 along to someone who needed it. Theresa now makes knitted caps every week and donates them to charity for cancer patients.
"We wanted Team Chad to know that Theresa was grateful for the help she received and was paying it forward by giving from what little she had, and also by the giving of her time and talents to others in need."
James had a transplant a little over a year ago. Less than 6 months after his return home from the transplant, his home caught fire and he and his wife lost everything. They made it out with only the clothes on their backs, without even any shoes. Both of their cars were lost in the blaze too. Because the fire occurred in the middle of the night, James had his dentures out while sleeping and didn't think to grab them as he sought to get his wife safely out of their home.
Their homeowner's insurance didn’t cover the replacement of his dentures and thus, James was unable to eat. That's where Team Chad stepped in. Team Chad paid for his dentures and James is now eating well! Thank you!
New Netbooks for Patients & Families
This picture was recently sent to us by one of the nurses on the 11th floor (the Oncology floor) at Vanderbilt Medical Center. The picture shows a family member using one of the Netbook computers Team Chad recently purchased for patients and family members while in treatment. We continue to hear from the doctors and nurses at Vanderbilt about what an encouragement and blessing these have been for the patients. The patients and their families use them to do research on their diseases, get patient education, and also to help pass the time while they are receiving their treatments.
Practical Help for Harry and Jane
Harry has myeloma. He uses a cane and has a hard time getting around. After 20 years in the same home, he and his wife, Jane, decided to relocate their residence to accommodate Harry's needs. Jane found a smaller home a mile from work, and on the same block as the couple's daughter. Renovations to the home began during Harry's treatment and stay at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
They finally received a weekend pass and headed home for the first time in two months. They arrived home only to find their home flooded from a broken water pipe, then on their return to Nashville, the alternator in their car went out. They sat on the shoulder of the road for four hours waiting to be towed.
The couple found themselves unable to pay for the replacement of the alternator and the $600 water bill. Happily, through the Hematology Helping Hands Fund, they were able to be reimbursed for their car repair and water bill.
When Harry and Jane were finally able to go home they stayed in Nashville a week more than expected at the Team Chad Apartment near VUMC, so that their house could be repaired enough and ready for their return.
A multiple myeloma patient in his 40’s, with a wife and a four-year old child, lost his job due to his illness. His wife continued to work but took leave without pay during her husband’s transplant. Two weeks into his transplant treatment, she was taken to the Emergency Room with a severe headache. Doctors discovered that she had a benign brain tumor and would need a shunt. She had brain surgery and was not able to return to work right away. When she did go back to work, three weeks later she had to have hernia surgery.
Even worse, after hernia surgery she ended up in the Intensive Care Unit at Vanderbilt Medical Center because the shunt was not working. She had to have another surgery. While all this was happening, the family was being evicted from their home. The HHHF paid three months of delinquent rent for them, which allowed them to stay in their rental house while they recovered. Him from his transplant treatment and Her from the multiple surgeries.
The Smith Family
Mr. Smith received a stem cell transplant to treat his multiple myeloma. The Smith children, having never in their lives been separated from their parents, were having difficulty coping with their Dad’s treatment away from home. Thanks to a gift from the Hematology Helping Hands Fund, the entire family was treated to a trip to the Nashville Zoo and the Adventure Science Center. A well needed family time and break from the stress of the family being separated during Mr. Smith’s treatment.
Help in Difficult Times
A patient was undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma. This involved many trips to doctor visits rand other medical appointments. Before long, he had exhausted his sick and vacation time and the his leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). He lost his job. Since he ad been unable to drive due to his sickness, his wife had to miss a lot of work in order to help him get to his appointments. She eventually had to quite her job. They were forced to file bankruptcy, lost their house, gave up one of their cars and moved to Kentucky to be near their adult children. They moved in with one of their children in a rental house. The rental house sold before his transplant and they had to move again. For Christmas, the HHHF (Hematology Helping Hands Fund) provided a gift card for gas, groceries, and other necessities.
The Happy Ending: Today he is in remission! He now drives a van for TennCare patients needing to get to their appointments and he loves his job! His wife is also working and they are “settled.” In part, due to the help of the HHHF.
A twenty-five year old charge nurse who had worked in oncology/hospice care, found out she had lymphoma while she was pregnant. She had attributed her back pain to the pregnancy but after the pain persisted, a biopsy showed she had “extensive” disease. She had an emergency c-section one day and began chemotherapy the next day.
After six months of chemo, she seemed to be “cancer free,” and took a job at an inpatient hospice program. (She had lost her other nursing jobs because she had exhausted her sick and vacation leave under FMLA.) The hospital did hire her back but in another position. Two months into her new job, the cancer returned. She’s undergone more chemo, an autologous transplant, and then a transplant of her sister’s stem cells, but the cancer is still raging. For Christmas, she received a gift card from the Hematology Helping Hands Fund (HHHF) which she used to purchase new clothes for her young daughter, not yet two years old. Tragically, mom will not see her daughters third birthday.