When Monica was told she had leukemia, she considered ending her own life. A single mom of two young children who speaks limited English, she knew her life during treatment would be hard and she would be alone. It was too much to bear, but then she remembered her babies. “I was so tired, and so sick during chemotherapy. My life was hard and some people that I thought loved me, left me. But I had to stay strong for my children,” recounts Monica.
Monica, now 19, was 5 months pregnant with her second child when she noticed that she was so tired, could barely walk and couldn’t sleep. She went to a few hospital emergency rooms before a doctor did a simple blood test, which showed that her hemoglobin and platelet counts were too low, indicating leukemia. To save her life, her son was immediately induced and she began chemotherapy treatments shortly after. Now in remission, Monica looks forward to returning to all the things she enjoyed doing before her diagnosis, like being outside, playing basketball and being a mom to her children. She credits the ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation with supporting her through diagnosis and treatment, and now getting back on her feet. “ASK has helped me so much,” exclaims Monica. “Gift cards to help with food and diapers and clothes for my kids, as well as helping me with all the health insurance stuff. I couldn’t have gotten through this terrible experience without them!”
“ASK is like my family now... I experienced so much joy with my children at the Bingo Night and the picnic for Latino families. I learned I can feel happy in the middle of cancer.” - ASK Kid Monica
“ASK is like my family now,” continues Monica. “They helped us financially and emotionally and have provided enjoyment and words of encouragement during this difficult time, just like a real family. I experienced so much joy with my children at the Bingo Night and the picnic for Latino families. I learned I can feel happy in the middle of cancer.”
Monica is quick to add that because of financial donors, ASK now provides bilingual support for Spanish-speaking families. “For many Hispanic patients, there is a serious language barrier when trying to understand medical guidance. I want financial donors to know that because they are providing resources for people like me, God will bless them. I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough!”
Like many pediatric cancer patients, Monica has a positive spirit. “I know now that everything is going to be well and if I stay positive, things will turn around. Every day, I’m so grateful for my life and for the support that ASK has given me to help me get here!”