Val Roberts, Firefighting Cancer

My friend Val is fifty years old and has been a firefighter in Los Angeles for twenty one years. She is a dedicated and loving single mother to three wonderful kids, 27, 13, and 11. As a firefighter and paramedic, she has always served her community and taken care of others, but now she is the one who needs our help. She is fighting the biggest battle of her life; Brain Cancer.

Val and I grew up in a wonderful kid-centered neighborhood in Berkeley. We were very close friends from when we were five-years old until we graduated high school. She was always in demand as a trusted baby-sitter for the younger neighborhood kids and it was her lifelong dream to be a firefighter. She is currently a paramedic on one of the largest fire boats in the world. Val often gives tours of the firehouse to friends and family. On a recent visit, her sister Kat, pictured above, rode along in the ambulance on a call to help an eldery woman in trouble. However, Val recently had to stop working to get treatment and that has taken a toll on her finances.

Her kids have always been her first priority, and as a single mom she has taken them on many adventures from camping on Catalina Island to family vacations at Twain Hart for many years. Her oldest is in graduate school and her two younger ones are at home and keep her very busy with homework, dance lessons and simply being a great and engaged mom. 

She used to be amazingly fit, but last November she collapsed at work. The doctors found a mixed tumor deep in her brain. She had to have surgery in May because the tumor was growing so fast, but they couldn't get it all. In June, further testing found the tumor to be cancerous. She now goes to UCLA for daily radiation and chemotherapy treatments in hopes of shrinking the tumor. 

So far, she is in good spirits and is very optomistic as we have always known her to be. She and her children visualize the tumor shrinking down to the size of a raisin. Although she has a positive outlook, she finds herself fatigued and in need of sleep. Driving the children to school and other activities are getting much harder for her. Good friends are helping by driving her to her daily radiation treatments at UCLA. She has several more weeks of radiation to go, with the last treatment on August 22nd. We are all hoping for good news. However, the chemotherapy treatments will last a year.

This challenge has taken a serious toll on her finances. She is using up her sicktime at half pay and will need to go back to work when it is gone as she is the sole breadwinner for her family. She does not have disability insurance and as a result, her finances are in the negative. Her income does not cover her expenses.

Right now, she needs financial help to cover her daily living expenses, help defray medical costs, and pay a sitter to transport her youngest son to and from school. Her son goes to an amazing UC Irvine school for ADHD/Autism, but it is twenty miles from her home in Los Angeles traffic. The district will not cover these expenses.  

While she goes through the treatment and experiences side effects, she is trying to keep things as close to normal as possible for her children. If she had the finances to hand off some of the logsitical burdens and reduce the worries of making ends meet, she could focus on getting better and continue being a great mom to her wonderful kids.

Her friends and family thank you in advance for any help you can provide. 

With love, David

Donations

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  • Kevin Nida 
    • $50 
    • 62 mos
  • Kevin Nida 
    • $50 
    • 63 mos
  • Kevin Nida 
    • $50 
    • 64 mos
  • Kevin Nida 
    • $50 
    • 65 mos
  • Kevin Nida 
    • $50 
    • 66 mos
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Organizer

Val L Roberts 
Organizer
Long Beach, CA
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