This is my 5-year-old son Leo. He's a very sweet and active boy who loves outdoor adventures. Whether we’re riding bikes, doing handstands at the beach, or fishing with his older brother Alejandro, Leo always wears a wide, contagious smile on his face. He loves racing with his Hot Wheels around the house, battling with his green army men and dressing up like his favorite superheroes. Leo loves to give hugs and kisses. These days, our family can’t get enough of them.
However, life has drastically changed for my family this past month. On May 15th, my son was diagnosed with Desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT).
In researching this disease, any mother’s worst nightmare became my reality. DSRCT is a very rare, aggressive, and fast-growing soft tissue cancer or sarcoma. Some reports indicate only 200 cases have been recorded since the cancer was first described in 1989. There is currently no standard treatment nor cure for DSRCT. Most shocking of all, the 5-year survival rate is ONLY 15%. Unfortunately, there aren’t many facilities that specialize in treating DSRCT and very few organizations are established for funding treatment research and increasing awareness of this rare illness.
I am desperate to find an effective treatment to save my son's life. It consumes my every waking thought. The sad truth is that even with insurance, there will still be tremendous out-of-pocket costs for me and my family. In order to begin Leo’s treatment ASAP (as all of the medical experts have recommended), we will initially face several thousand dollars in out-of-pocket expenses. As the primary caregiver and provider for my two children, even those initial costs are a significant burden. Given my current situation, securing that money might be impossible on my own. I have been out of work for several months due to breaking multiple bones in my leg and subsequent workplace closures during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now I have been unable to return to work as I care for Leo post-surgery and spend every free moment contacting doctors and insurance companies in preparation for his treatment.
I want everyone to know how difficult it is to ask for this. I would not normally request any financial assistance from loved ones and certainly not from people I’ve never met. As we navigate this unexpected and devastating diagnosis, we hope others might help us endure the tremendous financial burden we face. I would be immensely grateful for any monetary donations to be used in our efforts to save my son’s life. Donations can be made by going to –GoFundMe Webpage and copy this link:
All donations are tax-deductible gifts. Any amount would be helpful and greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your support and kindness. Please keep my son in your prayers and in your thoughts.
- Teresa Avery
- Eunice Rodriguez
- Julieta Galis