I know you are probably thinking, "Callie is asking for money for her classroom AGAIN after we just donated and gave her kids CD players, headphones, 250 new books, books with CD's, and a fieldtrip to the Oakland Zoo?" And my answer is yes, but this time it is for a single students and her family, not my entire class.
The week before our winter break, Jazmine was out sick. She had been experiencing some major headaches and nausea and had missed our entire week leading up to the winter break. She would go with her mom to school, drop off her big brother Kevin in the 7th grade, and cry and beg her mom to let her stay and be at school that day. I would give her a hug at the door and tell her that she wouldbe back soon. Our other students would send her love (make hearts with their hands and blow a kiss through it) and we carried on with 21 of our 22 babes for a week.
Her doctor in Oakland had told her that the vommiting and headaches were the result of a virus and it would be best to have Jazmine rest before the active trip to Disneyland and Universal Studios that weekend. Well, the resting did nothing as Jazmine had and now has something much worse than a virus: she has an inoperable, malignant brain tumor on the right hemisphere of her brain.
On December 22, 2014, Jazmine collapsed at Universal Studios, was rushed to Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, given many scans and and an MRI, and her two wonderful parents, Ana and Luis, were told their 5 year-old, only daughter has 6 months to a year to live.
Jazmine and her family have since returned home and have chosen to try an experimental form of radiation at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. To be expected, her parents and two brothers (Kevin is in 7th grade and Luis is in 9th grade) are completely distraught. Their daughter and sister has been given an end-date and it has come 80+ years too soon.
Luis, Jazmine's dad, has taken a leave of absence from his construction job as he wants and needs to spend every moment of his days with Jazmine. Jazmine can no longer walk because of the growth and location of her tumor. Her entire left side of her body is paralyzed because of her tumor. And her ability to speak, focus her eyes on someone speaking to her, and do anything on her own, is completely gone. She relies on her parents to carry her up a flight of stairs to their apartment every day, drive her from Oakland to San Francisco for M-F radiation treatments at 7:30 am, hold her hand through the 20 minute radiation process, clean her, feed her, help her use the bathroom, and try to make her smile and calm during this horrible process.
Luis made enough money for their entire family and now that he is not working, they have no source of income. But their expenses have gone up tremendously. They are driving from Oakland to San Francisco five days a week, going over the Bay Bridge and toll, filling up their van with gas 2-3 times a week, trying to get a child's wheelchair for Jazmine, all while basic costs of living still exist like rent, food on the table, and electricity.
I think we would all do what Luis has done and spend as much time as possible with our 5 year-old child. I cannot imagine the pain that this wonderful family is going through, and the last thing they should have to worry about is how will they pay the rent, or how will they feed their family. I hope you can and will donate any amount to one of my Waves and her family.
I appreciate you just taking the time to read this page. Please pass it on to anyone you think would be willing to donate to Jazmine and her family.
With so much love and admiration,
P.S. The picture is from my home visit in September. I visited Jazmine's house in Oakland, Ana made me papusas, their dog Oso attacked me with kisses, her two brothers taught me how to play some video game that I was horrible at, Luis the dad let me speak my broken Spanish to him, even though he speaks great English, and Jazmine wrote me all the letter sounds she knew and made me pinky promise that I would come over again.
- Heather Kirkpatrick
- Allison Leslie
- Warren Felson
- Jonathan Garfinkel
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