Family struggling with illness, medical bills wants joy for sons
Many of the requests sent to Globe Santa asking for help in providing gifts for children come from families for whom a parent or child’s illness and their ensuing medical expenses have shattered the family’s budget and drastically reshaped their lives.
But for one family living south of Boston, the hardship that has befallen them involves both the mother and a son.
In 2008, the parents of a pair of young boys found out that their then 3-year-old son had type 1 diabetes.
At about the same time, the company where the boys’ mother worked went bankrupt, leaving the couple with only one income for their son’s treatment.
A year later, the 40-year-old mother of two was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I have been battling this disease for the past two years (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, reconstruction and adjunct hormone therapy) while caring for our two sons,’’ she wrote in a letter requesting a visit from Globe Santa this Christmas.
“It has been a nightmare for our family to say the least.’’
For 55 years, Globe Santa has helped families like this one throughout Eastern Massachusetts by delivering presents for children.
Thanks to a visit from Globe Santa, tens of thousands of boys and girls who might otherwise wonder why they were left out of the holiday instead wake up Christmas morning to find toys, books, games, and other gifts under their tree.
The boy’s father is still employed and the couple have been able to stay afloat on his salary, but with all their added expenses, they are scraping by from month to month, the woman said in her letter.
In addition to her rigorous treatment for breast cancer, she has spent the last three years supporting her now 6-year-old son in his daily struggle with diabetes.
“I am not only his mother but his caregiver 24/7, checking his blood sugar and administering insulin 3-4 times a day by syringe,’’ she wrote.
And while some people might be angry or spend their energy wondering why this happened to them, she said the experience has served as wake-up call about life’s true value.
“I’m so happy and lucky to wake up each day,’’ she wrote. “I count my blessings and appreciate all the little things.’’
Her letter concludes with the same simple request that so many parents and guardians make when they write to Globe Santa: Please help her sons, who have endured so much in their young lives, be happy on Christmas Day.
She and her husband may be proud people, but they need a hand to give their children a Christmas to remember.
“My boys have been so good with all they’ve been through and witnessed,’’ she wrote. “I truly know in my heart that they deserve a good Christmas and holiday season.’’
This couple’s two sons will be among some 50,000 children who receive a visit from Globe Santa this year because of the generosity of individuals, groups, and local businesses, many of whom have made giving to Globe Santa a part of their Christmas tradition.