A Family's Struggle To Survive

A YOUNG FAMILY'S STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE

This is the story of the Leija family, Mateo Kenneth, Jasmin, and their three young children. In the last five years of their lives, they have experienced ongoing tragedy and severe health declines. It was in 2010 that now 28 year old Mateo K. Leija sustained a traumatic brain injury. This husband and father of three small children and his young wife had plans and dreams of a full life together with their growing family. But his accident incapacitated him, preventing his pursuit of training and education in business and management. Mateo suffered from seizures which required that Mateo's then 20 year old wife, Jasmin, quit her job and school to put her career training on hold. She was 3 credits away from graduation. Now her husband required her constant care. But their troubles were soon to multiply.

January of this year, Mateo was diagnosed with oral cancer. Out of the blue came this sudden news of cancer that badly blind sided the young couple. How could this be? Mateo is so young, and it was unlikely to happen as he has no history of HPV, smoking, or excessive drinking.

Cancer treatments were prescribed. Half of Mateo's tongue was surgically removed. He was then given rounds of radiation and chemotherapy. Left in a weakened, sick, and debilitated state, Mateo continued to suffer from seizures. His wife had become his 24 hour care giver. The young couple's hopes and dreams for a future and for employment opportunities had been badly threatened. Moreover, the ongoing threats continue as Mateo's health worsens.

The end of July at the time of this writing, Mateo and Jasmin received more bad news. The tragedies are seeming to snowball. Now, the cancer is reoccurring and spreading to other sites in the body. Recently, suspicious spots had been found on Mateo's lungs. The diagnostic work revealed "bilateral upper lobe nodules suspicious for metastases," and more, "disease recurrence" of the tongue cancer and left side pterygoid muscle of the jaw.

At this point, the Leija family is resolved to seek a second opinion before pursuing a course of treatment. There is too much at stake. In their fight for survival the family hopes to access specialist care.

But they need our help. Proper life saving medical care is out of the family's reach due to their lack of financial resources and Medicaid insurance. It has become clear that his care needs are much more immediate and extensive than what their insurance provides for them.

This is where we come in. We can help them access the care they need. This is easy for us to do, to help ease the suffering of this young family and give them hope.

Think of it this way:
the cost of a cup of coffee,
a coffee date,
lunch out,
dinner date,
or more if you desire??
Every dollar helps. Don't be embarrassed to give what little you can.  A little from many will relieve the suffering and hardship of this family.

Get the word out! Pass this on to your e-mail and face book friends.

Thank you for your support and Godspeed!

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Organizer

Jasmin Leija 
Organizer
Columbia, MO
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