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Globe Santa

Children’s illnesses put strain on funds during holidays

Three-year-old Georgia Steele of Hingham did not want a photo with Globe Santa, but inspected the Globe Santa donation box at the Hingham Shipyard Holiday Market.

Cecille Joan Avila for The Boston Globe

Three-year-old Georgia Steele of Hingham did not want a photo with Globe Santa, but inspected the Globe Santa donation box at the Hingham Shipyard Holiday Market.

Nothing can prepare parents for the moment they are told that their child is facing a potentially fatal illness. Shock, sadness, anger, and fear collide with a fierce determination to do whatever it takes to see their son or daughter through to good health.

“My 11-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago,” the girl’s mother wrote in a letter to Globe Santa. “Since that devastating day, our lives have been turned upside down in every way.”

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The little girl continues to battle courageously, her mother wrote, but has faced numerous setbacks, in addition to the painfully aggressive treatment necessary to fight the disease. For two years now, it seems the two have spent far more time in the hospital than in their home on the South Shore.

“My daughter has had many additional health problems caused by all the chemo in her little body,” wrote the girl’s mother.

As if the emotional distress were not heavy enough, the girl’s mother is also facing major medical expenses and is worried that without help, her daughter will not have any presents to open at Christmas.

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“I would appreciate any help you can provide for my daughter, as I would love for her to have a wonderful and deserving Christmas,” her letter concluded.

A family from the North Shore is also experiencing the pain of a child being stricken with cancer. The 8-year-old boy’s mother wrote to Globe Santa with the hope that he and his three brothers might enjoy a bright holiday after what has largely been a dark period in their lives.

“We have had a severe loss of income due to my husband having to leave his job to care for our son, who is battling a very rare form of cancer,” the boy’s mother wrote. “For a married couple who has worked hard and never had to worry, now all we do is worry if we will have a roof over our heads this upcoming year.”

Her son’s treatment has affected the whole family, she continued, but his health is relatively stable, and the four children retain the youthful exuberance you would expect from boys ages 10, 9, 8, and 4.

Despite their dire financial straits, the woman wrote that she and her husband always try to keep “a smile and a positive attitude for the children.” That said, she knows how much it would mean for the boys to celebrate Christmas with gifts.

“Regardless of what the children get, we are very thankful for all you do to make Christmas special for children,” she wrote.

Thanks to Globe Santa and the kindness of the thousands of individuals, families, and groups who give to the campaign, the children in these families will know this Christmas that Santa Claus remembered them, too.

Since 1956, Globe Santa has been helping families who celebrate Christmas in the Santa Claus tradition, but cannot afford gifts for their children.

Donations are needed to ensure that all Eastern Massachusetts families asking for Globe Santa’s help can count on him to pay them a visit this Christmas, so please consider giving to the campaign and becoming one of Santa’s Friends.

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