Stock Sam's Fridge and Temp Home

I am making it my mission for the next two weeks to help Sam's family get the help they need. When Sam and his family come to DC for his experimental treatment, I don't want the family to have to worry about ANYTHING except about getting Sam better, and spending lots of quality family time together.

That means stocking the fridge with food, taking care of their gas to and from treatments and getting all those little things in their temporary housing that usually are forgotten.

Once we know where they will be staying, I will personally be taking the donated money and getting gift cards to the closest grocery stores, gas stations, etc that might be of help to the Whetzels.


From Sam's mom:
"Sam is eleven years old, and just finished 5th grade. He is mad about building with Legos. He and his twin brother, Joe create all sorts of clever figures and inventions. Sam runs very fast, and enjoys it when the family visits a nearby arboretum. "Calvin and Hobbes," and "Big Nate," are favorites. He is well-liked by his classmates and teachers.

This summer, a virus circulated through our extended family. It lasted about a week in everyone who got it. Sam got it as well, and couldn't manage to kick it. When his jaw began to hurt, I took him to the doctor and received the diagnosis that he has leukemia. Obviously, no one can be prepared for such news.

The prognosis is good, but he will receive intensive chemotherapy for four weeks, then transition to once-weekly chemo for 6 to 8 months with occasional re-admissions to the hospital. The last stage is oral chemotherapy medications and once monthly visits to the doctor. The overall time from start to finish is 3 1/2 years. This scenario is if he has the less aggressive form of ALL and he responds well to treatment. We will know what form he has later this month.
For those who don't know us personally, my husband, Mike and I have a family business: Staff of Life Bread, which is on Facebook. I'm an artisan baker, and we sell through two local farmer's markets. Right now, Sam and our other children need all our attention, and we are unable to participate in the markets.
Sam has been fighting leukemia for over a year now. He's just days away from being admitted to a treatment trial at NCI/NIH."


Sam's mom is trying to find temporary housing for herself and the rest of her family while Sam is being treated up here. Unfortunately, the Whetzels do not qualify to stay at the Children's Inn, since that's for families of those being treated on an outpatient basis only. They will need a 2 BR place, since there will be two adults, a teenage girl and a tween boy (Sam's twin). I don't know how long they will be here -- they anticipated being here for a few months last time, and it ended up being just a week.

NIH has been less than helpful in trying to guide them toward finding housing. Unfortunately, cost is definitely an issue, since my sis and her fam have had no income at all since Sam relapsed in May. I looked at a couple of execu-stay type places, but most of them anticipate a single resident, not a family, and the places are sized accordingly.

They have set up a FB page:
This photo was taken Friday, May 3. Pictured are Sam's twin brother Joe, Sam, and their friend, Aaron.
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Mary Kate Battles 
Frederick, MD
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