A few weeks before his first birthday, J.K.’s parents received devastating news – leukemia. “We cannot even begin to describe how shocked we were to first learn of the leukemia diagnosis nor how to cope with the sheer enormity of the odyssey we are going to face over the next couple of years,” said J.K.’s dad.

J.K.’s mom, a local nurse, had to take an immediate and indefinite leave of absence from her job to be with her infant at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She took a room at Ronald McDonald House, leaving her husband and two children in Olympia. Spring Break was spent together in Seattle and the Olympia-based family travels up on weekends and whenever they get the chance, but it’s definitely not easy.

Supportive coworkers have donated sick leave to maintain some of J.K.’s mom’s income, but without her paycheck, the financial pressure, along with their son’s cancer diagnosis was wearing on the family.

The loss of income and strain on the family caught the attention of a local Providence employee who suggested the parents reach out to The Mayday Foundation. “Prior to learning about J.K.’s story, we had limited our mission to supporting local families when parents had cancer while raising kids at home,” said founder and executive director, Amy Rowley. “However, the financial devastation from juvenile cancer impacts a family severely and our board voted unanimously to expand our mission to help families, like J.K.”

Now, The Mayday Foundation provides immediate, practical financial support to families coping with cancer while raising kids at home. An eligible family member can be a parent or a child. To receive assistance, families must live or receive treatment in Thurston or Grays Harbor counties.

“We are so thankful The Mayday Foundation exists as we undertake this cancer journey with our family. Not only that, we’re so thankful for the kindness and generosity of all those who donate or contribute to The Mayday Foundation,” said J.K.’s dad. “Knowing that we can fully devote our time and energy into helping our youngest fight his best fight, without having to worry about where the money to pay our bills is going to come from, has relieved us of a burden we didn’t even realize we had weighing on us. It buys us extra time until getting back to work becomes feasible.”

On April 12, 2019, the family received news they had been waiting for – a negative biopsy following the initial rounds of treatment for their 1-year-old son’s leukemia. “We were so excited to get the news since it means the initial round of treatment worked and we’re able to move on to the consolidation phase,” said J.K.’s dad.

“We can’t thank you enough for all of your help and are so grateful we can focus more of our time and energy on doing whatever it takes to help our son get well,” he said in summary.

If you would like to help families, like J.K., coping with cancer while raising kids at home, please consider a donation. One-time or monthly contributions of any amount are welcome. To learn more about donating, click here.

The Mayday Foundation is a 501(c)(3) approved non-profit organization that supports local families coping with cancer while caring for children at home. The Mayday Foundation can provide immediate, practical help with household expenses like rent, utilities, groceries and transportation costs. For tax purposes, our EIN is 82-3914026.

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