Hello everyone, I’m Tommie Teel, godmother to Summer Summerfelt (14 years old) and Serenity Summerfelt (12 years old). I am reaching out to you on behalf of Summer who was diagnosed at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, in April, 2019, with Scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine. She has had three appointments at Rady so far and is scheduled for surgery on August 6th. If left untreated, scoliosis can lead to increasing deformity and arthritis as well as potential heart and lung damage. But Summer says she is going to get her back fixed! And even though it’s a little scary to think about surgery, she wants to be able to be active and to dance again. She does musical theater and acro-lyrical and acro-cirque. At 14, she is 5’ 7&1/2” tall and can do a beautiful arabesque!
Summer’s mom, Deborah, and her sister, Serenity, will spend 5 days with her at Rady until she is released to go home to recover. They live in Joshua Tree on the Mojave Desert, and it is a 152 mile trip each way. They are hoping to stay at the Ronald McDonald house, but won’t know if a room will be available until 24 hours before Summer’s surgery.
Summer will need 4-5 follow-up appointments after her surgery, and it is these travel costs they will need help with. The family has a 15-year old Toyota that my husband and I gave to them, but Deborah usually only drives it locally. If you are familiar with living on the Mojave, you do not want to break down somewhere on the long desert stretches and in the high heat! She will rent a car for the long trips to San Diego. This will require rental fees, gasoline, and some meals along the way. Plus, depending how late they are at the hospital each time, they might need to get a motel room for the night before returning to Joshua Tree the next day. And she will need some supplies at home such as a shower chair and extra pillows for support in bed. Dollars for these extras are not in the family’s budget. Our goal is to raise $2,000.
This is a single mom family on a limited income. Summer’s mom has a home-based custom soap making business, which the girls help with both at home and at the Joshua Tree Farmer’s Market each Saturday. They depend on this income and work hard for it. They will probably have to miss several months of market days while Summer is recuperating at home as she will need assistance in performing daily activities safely.
Summer and Serenity are home schooled, and both girls are A students. They both are kind and considerate of others. Summer is also an avid reader so that will help pass the time while she is recovering.
We will appreciate any amount for donations to help the family through the requirements of post-op care and follow-up appointments in San Diego. We are grateful for the excellent reputation that Rady Children’s Hospital has, and that Summer will be well taken care of there. Our heartfelt thanks go out to each of you, even if it is just to hold Summer in positive thoughts for her surgery and the recovery months to follow. Thank you!