Support for the Jo Ann Juan Family

This has been a difficult time for my friend Jo Ann Juan. The reason I was drawn to her initially is that she is funny, irreverent and upbeat.  Anyone who can keep that bright disposition in the face of the enormous challenges in her life, deserves a break.

 Jo Ann's oldest daughter is gravely ill and has been in the hospital since November 2.  Jo Ann has stayed with her every step of the way.  Aysia has suffered two strokes and although everyone is praying for a miracle, her prognosis is not good.  Both of Jo Ann's daughters suffer from Leigh syndrome, a severe neurological disorder characterized by progressive loss of mental and movement abilities and and life expectancy is not more than a few years.  In fact, Jo Ann herself has Leigh Syndrome, just not as severely as her daughters.  Jo Ann was unaware that she had this condition until after the girls were born as it usually shows up at 2 or 3 years old. 

Because of the extraordinary mothering skills and the gritty determination and tenacity of Jo Ann, Aysia would be graduating from high school this year.  I have watched this turbo-powered mother make certain that even though the length of their lives may be shortened, the width and depth of their lives offers these girls everything life has to give. Jo Ann made sure her daughters experienced everything from the prom to ice skating, girl scouts to carnivals.  

Because Aysia has been in the hospital for so long and Jo Ann has another special needs daughter at home, she has lost her job and she is on her own with these girls.  

The need for funds is urgent.  In addition to medical bills, there are going to be some simpler needs like help with the regular monthly expenses.  With the holidays upon us, please help me take some of these burdens off of her by giving her a small safety net.  Jo Ann has never asked for anything, but needs our help now.    We appreciate whatever you can give.
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Maureen Harnisch 
Honolulu, HI
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