Here is a story about hope, courage and love. Samantha, of North Salem, who now lives in NYC and started a high-end baby & child pajama brand called Sammy & Nat is using her platform to bring a voice to a family in need from her hometown. Here is her story:
Mary is a gorgeous, rosy-cheeked, blond-haired, two-year-old girl with her whole life ahead of her. Lisa and her husband Eric are Mary’s parents. Eric also has a son Dean who is Mary’s big brother. Last fall they received some devastating that Lisa, has Stage Three Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Lisa is now half way through a grueling six-month, 16-treatment, course of chemotherapy. Before she was diagnosed, Lisa was a working mother, dreaming of having a baby brother or sister for Mary and Dean. When she learned about her cancer, and the long-term effects of chemotherapy, Lisa opted for a course of fertility treatments so that she might, nonetheless, one day be able to realize that dream. While Lisa’s story has been one of setback after setback, she embodies hope and optimism. She has to—for her family, for Mary.
Lisa takes one day at a time. New structures in her life have become the norm. Her weeks are punctuated with treatments and doctor appointments. She had to give up her business. Fatigue is a constant, sometimes manageable—she feels almost normal—and sometimes overwhelming—she can’t get out of bed. But her greatest effort goes into staying positive for Mary, Dean, and Eric, who have provided ceaseless, unqualified support and love. Lisa is also lucky enough to have parents who help with Mary, so that Eric can keep on working and Lisa can get the rest essential to recovery.
Besides the obvious emotional struggles and fear that surround cancer, there are so many additional drains that are not always as apparent to the outside world. How does the family keep going? How does dad do his job and look after the kids? What happens when you’re alone, with no support? What about lost income? And bills? The biggest stress for Lisa’s family is financial. Because only a percentage of the treatments and medications needed by Lisa are covered by insurance, they live in the shadow of astronomical medical bills. And the decision to undergo fertility treatment was completely out of pocket. But what would you do, given that same decision? Relinquish your dream of growing your family, or find a way to cling on to the hope of making it happen?
Last month I learned of their story and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to help. But how? And then it clicked, let me use SammyandNat.com and our social media (@sammyandnat) as a platform to talk to people, bring awareness and to help this family.
I am particularly moved by Lisa’s story, having lost my own mother to cancer when I was a little girl. Life has to go on as normal, but nearly $50k dollars in debt for Lisa’s treatments and all the other associated costs associated with her illness and the necessary treatments are crippling.
I have faith that when you ask for help, you will receive, and so I am reaching out to you. Please help Lisa! Help her get the treatments she needs, so that little Mary grows up knowing her mommy, so that Lisa and Eric and Dean and Mary can put this challenge behind them and move on towards a brighter phase, and who knows, maybe even bigger, stronger family.