“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill
It makes sense for that quote to be framed in the home of Julie and Tim Lomot, both of whom devote their lives to others through teaching, counseling, social work, lifeguarding and coaching. This statement that they chose as a motto for their family-- and which has been displayed on their living room wall for as long as we can remember-- could not be more true than at this moment.
As many of you know, Owen, one of Julie and Tim’s four year old twins, was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (or B-Cell ALL) in early December. After initially falling ill in November, Julie and Tim spent several weeks trying to get him properly diagnosed, and the news that it was childhood cancer has been devastating to all of us.
Once they learned it was ALL, Owen was immediately admitted to New York Presbyterian--Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in Manhattan, about 60 miles from where they live on Long Island. While the team of medical doctors and nurses has been incredible-- truly heroes-- watching Owen endure multiple procedures and rounds of chemotherapy has taken much strength and faith. To make the situation even more heartbreaking in this trying time, due to COVID restrictions only one parent can stay with Owen in the hospital. Julie and Tim have been switching on-and-off on a near-daily basis, while also caring for and supporting Drew who remains at home.
The boys, who as twins and best friends, had previously spent everyday together, have not seen each other since the diagnosis. And, the only time Tim and Julie have seen each other is when they pass one another during their change of shifts.
In order to care for Owen, and to remain as safe and unexposed to the pandemic as possible, both Tim and Julie will soon run out of work leave days from the jobs that they love in public schools. Once Owen moves to outpatient-- hopefully within a few weeks-- he will continue to receive treatment at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. It is essential that they stay nearby to get proper interventions and treatments, as risks for complications remain high, especially in this time of Covid. As they contend with mounting healthcare costs, they are also hoping to lease an apartment very close to the hospital, alleviating the burden of a lengthy commute, lessening the risks to Owen which is critical, and reuniting as a family under one roof for Owen’s treatment and recovery.
This is where we all come in, and where Anna and I feel especially convinced we need to ask for help on their behalf. As many of you know Tim and Julie well, you will appreciate that they are the last to ask for help, live modestly, and have chosen careers that serve others in lieu of wealth. They are the first to lend a helping hand, and we want to be there for them now. Many of you have asked how to help, and one of the best ways our communities and families can do so is to contribute financially to their medical costs and temporary housing. Any amount is incredible, and no sentiment is too small.
Words cannot express how much we admire how Julie and Tim are handling this surreal twist in life. They know that they will be strengthened, transformed, and become that much more selfless by having endured it.
Thank you for your generosity and love.
- Megan Callahan
- Julie Fewer
- Sabatino Family
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