Children’s health issues add to 2 single mothers’ holiday struggles

Disney On Ice skater Tommy Do, Mickey Mouse, TD Garden president Amy Latimer, and Boston Bruins president Cam Neely made Globe Santa donations at South Station.
Mary O’Connor for the Boston Globe
Disney On Ice skater Tommy Do, Mickey Mouse, TD Garden president Amy Latimer, and Boston Bruins president Cam Neely made Globe Santa donations at South Station.

The excitement in a child’s eyes when he or she finds presents under the family tree on Christmas morning is unmistakable: In that one moment, at least, all their cares seem to be forgotten.

For many children, that moment is an annual ritual that takes place amid an ­already busy schedule, one filled with school, sports, Scouts, or other activities.

But for children with serious medical conditions, Christmas morning can represent a brief respite from difficult and often painful daily struggles.


With that in mind, the home care nurse for a 4-year-old boy wrote to Globe Santa on behalf of the boy’s mother, saying that while the child has numerous conditions that severe­ly limit his abilities, he is fully able to understand and celebrate Christmas.

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The boy lives with his mother in a one-bedroom apartment south of Boston. He cannot walk, so he must be carried up a flight of stairs to the street level of the building before being helped into his wheelchair, the nurse wrote.

He is developmentally ­delayed, must eat through a feeding tube, and suffers from seizures, she said. Yet the boy’s spirit is undaunted.

“He uses adaptive toys at school, and he loves to listen to music,” the boy’s nurse wrote.

In another letter, a single mother from north of Boston wrote to Globe Santa to ask for help for her 3-year-old daughter. The little girl has “multiple health complications,” her mother wrote, includ­ing asthma, severe allergies, and seizures.


She has spent much of her young life in hospitals and doctors’ offices, so much so that she recently announced her plans to one day become a doctor.

“I don’t doubt it,” her mother wrote.

The two have been through a lot together. When her daughter was born, they lived in a shelter and were moved from one location to another over the next two years, the mother wrote.

But things have improved in the last several months, ­after she was accepted into HomeBASE, a relatively new state program that helps homeless families find stable housing alternatives.

Despite her optimism that 2013 will be a better year for both, the outlook for this Christmas was bleak.


“I’m a hard-working, struggling single mother,” she wrote.

“I will do the best I can for her this Christmas, but she deserves better than all I can ­offer.”

Without any money left for Christmas gifts, both of these single mothers turned to Globe Santa for help, knowing that for more than 50 years the fund has provided presents to children in need.

Of course, Globe Santa is only able to make his deliveries thanks to the thousands of individuals, groups, businesses, and others who donate.

There are scores of annual fund-raising events and collections at local restaurants and community organizations, some of which are organized by those who remember Globe Santa from their childhood.