This past year has been a very hard road to walk, but Kamau is not giving up and we’re all still fighting as hard as ever before. We are determined to do everything within our power to see our lively, joking brother and Salena’s strong, healthy husband here with us. Thankfully, their son and our nephew, Zaire, takes it all in stride and will climb into bed to hang with Daddy no matter what. Kamau is quite literally in the fight of his life and we’ll never give up in hopes that Zaire can grow up with his father by his side.
Though we are determined to support our brother and sister-in-law to the best of our ability, we are not able to fully provide for them financially. As most know, cancer is an extremely expensive illness to treat. However, Kamau and Salena could not have expected $10,000 in medical bills after insurance payments just three months into treatment. The monthly costs for prescription medication, co-pays, the numerous hospital stays and costly tests and scans have left Kamau and Salena struggling to make ends meet.
Additionally, there are many other unexpected and unavoidable costs that have left them drowning in debt. For instance, they live in NYC away from most of their extended family, and like many New Yorkers, don't own a car. Kamau is unable to ride the subway to get to and from various doctor appointments so they have to use taxis which can cost anywhere from $40-$60 one way. They’ve also had to hire a babysitter to help care for Zaire when they have to go to appointments or unexpected ER visits. Their child care costs alone is nearly $2,000 per month. They’re living on a very tight budget and have had to make sacrifices in every aspect of their lives. It pains them the most to have to cut corners with their son.
On top of all of these ever accumulating expenses, Kamau has been unable to go to work. He’s been teaching middle school in Brooklyn for the past three years. He’s become an integral part of the lives of the children, staff and parents in the community. It saddens him that the physical strain this illness puts on his body is making it impossible for him to return to teaching- one of his many passions.
We wish neither Kamau nor Salena had to spend energy that should be focused on healing his body, on worrying about finances. We contribute financially as much as we can but as we continue down this journey, the need is only increasing. Asking for help is not something that comes easy to Kamau or Salena. They are both hard working, self sufficient people who have been independent since leaving their parents’ homes for college. We have started this campaign to ask for help on their behalf.
It is now more important than ever to reach out to our community and beyond for not only financial, but emotional and spiritual support as well. We are asking for your assistance with offsetting the astronomical costs of fighting cancer by donating to this fund. Additionally, we are asking for donations of holistic healing practices, including massage therapy, reiki, acupuncture, yoga and meditation. We pray that this fund will help to allow our brother to be with us for as long as possible and see his son grow up to be the great man that Kamau is. Please share this campaign.
With love & gratitude,
Kamau’s siblings- Akil, Subira, Hanifah and Ayana
- Jamie Hernandez
- NBC Page Family
Organizer and beneficiary
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