Some people seeking help from Globe Santa speak of the toll a child’s illness takes on the child, of course, but also on parents and their brothers and sisters and on a family’s stability and financial health.
A mother from a community southwest of Boston relates how her 11-year-old son was diagnosed in May with cancer and has spent months at Children’s Hospital and as an outpatient at “the Jimmy Fund Clinic.”
“This has proven financially difficult,” says the mother. “As a single parent I am unable to work full time in caring for [him]. I am uncertain as to what the upcoming months will look like as far as an income.
“I would love for [my son] to have a special Christmas this year. His childhood has already been interrupted as he battles cancer.”
Another mother tells Globe Santa about her 12-year-old daughter’s battle with severe depression and anxiety.
“In March she tried to end her own life,” says the mother from a suburb west of Boston.
The young girl spent six weeks in inpatient treatment and two weeks as an outpatient.
“She is doing better now,” says the mother, “but making sure she is cared for while I work and making all her appointments (taking time off) has depleted our resources. We are getting by on a check-to-check basis.
“Anything that may make her smile would be appreciated.”
And then there is the 13-year-old girl writing to Globe Santa for Christmas help for her brother, who is 6.
“My brother has been through a lot in his life,” the girls says. But the worst setback was when he was diagnosed at age 2 with a genetic disease that causes excessive bleeding, she says.
“He has been in and out of hospital constantly,” she says. Her parents have been trying their best to keep up with the bills and with making sure she and her brother have what they need but it’s been difficult, the girl says.
“So I think having something special for Christmas will make his year,” she tells Globe Santa.
This boy and all the others will get the Christmas help they need. Globe Santa will be providing gifts for them and tens of thousands of other children in Greater Boston. The program, sponsored by the Boston Globe Foundation, is in its 63rd year.
Last year, Globe Santa gave gifts to 34,325 children from 19,182 families.
But the magic would not be possible without the help of thousands of generous people every year. Last year alone, 5,865 donors gave more than $1 million.
Please consider donating by mail, or phone or online at globesanta.org.
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Tom Coakley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org