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Families we have assisted

Blog & Events, Families we have assisted

Meet Elijah ~ Extended Hospital Stay Grant Recipient

January 24, 2018

Elijah comes from a large family ~ 5 children, 2 of which have cystic fibrosis.  He was recently hospitalized for a 21 day stay, which is not unusual when living with this disease but incredibly difficult for a family taking care of so many children while also maintaining their jobs.  This lovely family was referred to us by the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the referral reads “Elijah has been a patient at our CF Center since 2010 and was recently admitted for a 21 day hospitalization.  During this time, his parents traveled back and forth from their home to the hospital daily, almost 40 miles each way.  While they took turns staying overnight at the bedside in order to be present for supportive and medical decision making purposes, Elijah has other siblings at home, including a brother who also has CF.  The mother is a part time nanny and the father is a pastor, both had to take turns being present at home and at the hospital simultaneously with no paid medical leave.  As their social worker, I provided the extent of resources available to families through our hospital as well as referrals to outside organizations.  Although they worked diligently to make contact with these resources, as you are probably well aware, very few have the ability to assist with the overwhelming amount of expenses that families of children with chronic illnesses incur.  At this point, we are approaching the holidays and the family is having trouble keeping their lights on and their mortgage paid.  Any assistance you may provide to them would be greatly appreciated.

I was very grateful for the fact that we were in a position to assist this family due to the generous support of our donors in 2017.  I have noticed that there are not many other organizations that assist families with bills that pile up while they are in countless hospital stays over the years due to chronic illness.  Both of these parents work in service jobs and are committed to being available to their 5 children.

We paid all of their bills for the month of December to get them caught up and received the most beautiful thank you note in the mail:

Dear Claire’s Place Foundation ~  It is Christmas afternoon and I keep thinking about you.  My children are all happy and grateful for their gifts and I know it would not have been possible without the tremendous help you all were able to give us after Elijah’s long hospitalization.  Words cannot express how incredibly grateful we are.  It’s not like we spent a ton of money for Christmas, nothing major, clothes, shoes, book bags, but to be able to get them nice things without being stressed about how we would afford anything right now, was simply amazing.  You all understand and minister to CF families and that is a rare and beautiful thing.  With grateful hearts, Camille, Jeff, Makenzie, Natty, Zach, Reagan and Elijah

We hope to keep in touch with this family and send them all of our love ~ Thank you for supporting this program!

Blog & Events, Families we have assisted

In Loving Memory of Julia

January 8, 2018

Julia was a beautiful, vivacious young woman with cystic fibrosis who beat the odds for many years.  Her mother and I were at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in November 2017 sitting vigil with our children, hoping and praying they would both be able to come home with us after extensive lung infections.  We CF parents understand the path we walk together and are always drawn to each other sharing about our child and their particular journey with cystic fibrosis.

While Claire recovered just enough lung function to be able to take a train home to Los Angeles, sadly Julia was not able to recover this time.  Her hospital stay was just over 2 months and although the doctors and amazing team of specialists at U Penn worked very hard, she reached her final resting place at home surrounded by her loving family shortly thereafter in hospice care.

Julia was loved by all, especially her 5 year old son.  Many women with cystic fibrosis are not able to bear children but some are lucky enough to have this experience.  Her son was her pride and joy and she will live on in his heart forever. She will be greatly missed by her husband and her mother and I have been very touched to know of her and her brave battle, her triumphs and the angel wings she recently received.  Breathe easy dear Julia.

Her mother and I connected again shortly after Julia’s death and she shared with me that the 2 month stay in Pennsylvania, far from home, had caused financial distress  and coupled with the loss of her only child, she felt quite overwhelmed with little support.  I was grateful to share with her about our Extended Hospital Stay Program and accepted her application immediately.  We were able to pay several of her larger bills so that she could feel supported and loved by her CF Community while beginning the long process of grieving.

“During my daughter Julia’s last and final hospitalization, which lasted 2 months, I crossed paths with another CF Mom and we found comfort in each other and our shared experience. I kept her card and found the Claire’s Place Foundation website easily and applied for a grant for assistance considering all of the expenses incurred during our long stay. Their financial help made a huge difference to me and enabled me not to go into further debt, while grieving the loss of my darling girl. In addition to the financial help, knowing there are people who care and donate to this cause during a difficult economy has given me emotional strength and reinforced my faith in the kindness of strangers.  I see your face before me Melissa and our meeting changed my life way beyond financial. I am feeling much better as time lessens the pain and heals the soul. I’ve come through the other side with a sense of peace that is remarkable. Of course my sadness and loss is always there, but I am so grateful for the life we had together and for all the emotional and psychological support I’ve received during and since my time with Julia. With gratitude, Julia’s Mom

Our hearts are with you all ~ all of us walking the road with a loved one with cystic fibrosis or any terminal illness.  It can be a lonely and scary place for sure with many ups and downs sprinkled with little miracles along the way.

#CureCF

Thank you all who support this program ~ as Julia’s mom writes, it is a small kindness that we can do for others who are suffering.

Melissa

Blog & Events, Families we have assisted

Meet Allie ~ Extended Hospital Stay Grant Recipient

November 28, 2017

Allie is a 15 year old, vivacious teen living with cystic fibrosis.  In 2017, she suffered 3 extended hospital stays as her CF continues to progress.

Her Social Worker sent us a referral  and describes her family’s situation as follows:

“Allie has been admitted for her current hospitalization since October 30, 2017.  It is important for her mother Brandy to be with Allie for supportive reasons but she is therefore unable to work due to how far away the family lives.  Brandy’s loss of income during this admission is creating financial burdens for the family in many ways.  Even though Allie’s father continues to work, his income is not sufficient alone.  As their social worker, I have referred the family to assistance programs to help with some of their bills but these programs have severe limitations and will not cover some of the more extensive expenses such as car insurance which is due to be cancelled and is very important in getting Allie and her family back and forth to the hospital.  Any assistance your foundation may see fit to provide will be greatly appreciated.”

Allie, Age 15

Our organization was established because we heard this story so many times and understand on a deep level the amount of work lost and support is required when raising a child with cystic fibrosis.  We also understood that there were very few resources for family’s in this particular situation.  Living with cystic fibrosis entails many many extended hospital stays over a life time and is absolutely unmanageable for most middle or low income families.

We were thrilled to offer Allie’s family a grant that covered their living expenses for a complete month and caught them up on their car insurance due to the incredible fundraising our donors have done this year.  We are grateful to be the shoulder they could lean on during their time of need.

Allie’s parent write “Words can never truly express our thanks for what Claire’s Place has done for us.  I made a promise to both my daughters when they were born that no matter what I would always be by their side.  Because of all of you I have less stress about getting bills paid.  My children understand that due to so many hospital stays this year, there was going to be no Christmas money.  But, because of all of you my children won’t need to miss Christmas or go without heat.  God bless you all”

Thank you for your continued support of this program ~ as you can see, your donations are hard at work helping families every day that have nowhere else to turn.

Wishing you all a happy, joyous holiday season!

Allie and her supportive family

 

Blog & Events, Families we have assisted

Meet Payton ~ Extended Hospital Stay Grant Recipient

November 10, 2017

Payton’s family is committed to getting her the best care possible even though they reside in an area without an accredited CF Center.  “The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation funds and accredits care centers located at teaching and community hospitals across the country. These centers offer comprehensive, high-quality care. This elevated level of specialized care has led to longer, more productive lives for people living with CF.”

Living in Hawaii but having Payton’s care managed at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital here in California put a huge financial strain on this family, as you can imagine.

Traveling back and forth every 3 months for clinic visits and enduring 2 week stays for “tune ups” has been a nearly impossible task but one they are committed to to ensure she receives the best care possible.

Claire’s Place Foundation was happy to provide a grant for this family to cover their mortgage, a portion of their outstanding hospital bill and pharmacy bills so that they would have additional monies to cover the cost of airfare and travel related expenses that were becoming overwhelming.

Payton’s mother writes

Claire’s Place has helped lift some of the financial burden off of our shoulders during this stressful time.

We can’t thank you all enough for this grant . Caring for our daughter is our number one job . At times the pressure to have enough cash to provide what she needs can be so hard . We are very thankful for this Foundation . Truly a blessing & so appreciated !! Bless you all !!!”

This grant was made possible by all of the wonderful fundraising done by you, Rikis Ride 2017 and Thrive: Make Money Matter ~ we are so grateful.  I love it that the structure Claire set in place when founding this organization is very simple ~ donations come in and grants go out.  We have very little overhead so you know that most of your donation will go directly to a family in need.

Thank you one and all for your continued support of this important program.

Blog & Events, Families we have assisted

Meet Nevaeh ~ Extended Hospital Stay Grant Recipient

November 6, 2017

Nevaeh is a bubbly, beautiful toddler with cystic fibrosis and 2 healthy siblings.  Her parents have chosen, like many other CF families, to have a stay at home parent to care for her needs and one parent to bring in income.  Unfortunately, Neveah’s father has been out of work and had a payment dispute with a previous employer leaving the family in a terrible financial situation.  At the same time, Nevaeh came down with Whooping Cough which can be fatal to children with cystic fibrosis.

Nevaeh’s doctors opted to put Navaeh on a strict home hospital regimen to keep her out of the hospital so the family would not be displaced.  She is currently being cared for at home with round the clock treatments and medications and is showing great improvement.

The family applied for assistance through our Extended Hospital Stay Grant Program with their phone bill, an important lifeline when a child is under home hospital care, and their vehicle repairs so they could get her back and forth for her check ups.  Due to the generosity of our new friends from Thrive: Making Money Matter, we were able to pay their bills in full so that they could focus on what’s most important ~ taking care of their children.

We found out about Claire’s Place Foundation by searching Google. Claire’s Place Foundation was able to assist with us our cell phone bill and our extensive car repairs. Not worrying about our phones getting shut off and being able to get Nevaeh back and forth to the doctor allowed us to focus on taking care of her and was such a relief. I was able to exhale and relax a little.” ~ Nevaeh’s Parents

We hope these grants helped to create a bit of a bridge as Neveah recovers and her father gets back to work. Sending prayers for a speedy recovery and gratitude to all of our new donors for supporting this important program ~ your money is making a difference for real families like this!