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Patient Stories

 

GIVING BACK

It was another devastating cancer diagnosis, my second.  A year later, I would have a third. At the time, I had no insurance, couldn’t work and was at the end of the road. I was given small odds to survive. Medical costs would bankrupt me, in fact we were already way under. Then we went to a support group, where we talked to others that had survived. We were able to get assistance through the Hudson Davidson Foundation to pay some of the bills.  This generous family helped us out of an immediate shortage. That help took me out of the dark place that had destroyed me physically, emotionally and financially.

 

A year later, we started an art program at UCI.  That program is called Art for Soul.  My wife and I help cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and family members work through the same problems that had bulldozed me.  Art helped me get out of the hole I was in emotionally and so we try to give others that same outlet. Working on art is transformative. The effort to get something down on paper is a struggle between you and the blank page.  We give others the tools to put their emotions down on that blank page.    The act of creating art, lowers blood pressure, calms anxieties and transforms emotions.

 

“ART WASHES AWAY FROM THE SOUL, THE DUST OF EVERYDAY LIFE”,    PICASSO.

 

-          Val Engstrom

 

 

 

One woman who we assisted has a Glioblastoma Multiforme and she lives here in Orange County with her two daughters. She is a single mother.  The rest of her family is in Texas.  We were able to assist her to repair her car so that she could get here for her doctor visits and treatment.

 

 

 

Another is a single man who has melanoma that has metastasized and he had to have his arm removed.  He is unable to work and has transportation needs.  His car needed repairs as well as he needed help with living expenses while his disability insurance was being evaluated.  He has no family.

 

 

 

I work in palliative care clinic and the majority of those who are followed in this clinic are cancer center patients.  One in particular is a patient who I have followed since her initial diagnosis.  She now has stage IV breast cancer and is seen in palliative care clinic for symptom management.  Her sister quit her job to care for her full time and they live month to month on the patient’s disability.  They have exceeded the financial assistance of breast cancer assistance programs.

 

When I met with the patient and her sister the patient was crying and would not look up to talk.  In addition to her pain and distress she was worried about paying the month’s rent.  I spent time consoling her and allowing her to vent her concerns.  I told her about the Hudson Davidson Fund and let her know we could help her pay her rent.  The tears turned to a smile, she looked me in the eye and said “thank you!”

 

 

 

Hello!

 

Thank you so much for your generous donation!  I am grateful to be able to buy food.  My medical expenses are very high and there were times I needed to decide how to wisely spend my money.  This donation made my life easier and I could afford to eat healthy!

 

Sincerely,

Patient X

 

 

 

Dear Hudson Family,

 

You have no idea how special your family is to my boyfriend and me.  You are so giving of yourselves.  You have helped in such a big way, in helping to fix my car.  My car is so important to myself and my boyfriend.

 

 

 

Hi!  I was so scared with this cancer scare.  I’ve never been so scared in my life.   I don’t know your family’s whole story with cancer.  I can only say I hope you have found peace.  I (we) will never forget the gift your family gave us, and what it has meant to us.  Special thanks and prayers to you all.

 

Love and God bless you,

X and X

 

 

 

To whom it concerns:

 

It is with our sincerest gratitude that we thank you for your support and gift of money.  Without your financial assistance I am not sure how much longer we could have lasted without any income, while trying to care for a newly diagnosed cancer patient.  For that we are truly grateful to you and appreciative of your help.

 

My brother, X is fifty one years of age and recently diagnosed with stage IV – Glioblastoma Multiforme brain tumor.  We have been told by the doctors at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCI, that it is the deadliest and most aggressive form of brain cancer and has the capabilities of reproducing a recurrent tumor every 10-14 days.  Like many others, our family has been unexpectedly thrust into a situation of fear and uncertainty, and frightened by the reality of his prognosis.  It is highly unlikely that there will be a favorable outcome of any kind, but we are still hoping for the best.

 

It is the thoughtfulness and profound compassion of those like you that will give us the emotional and spiritual strength that we will need in the days to come as there will be many challenges on the road ahead.  Once again, thank you.

 

Sincerely,

X

 

 

 

Dear Family,

 

Thank you so much for your most generous help.  Funds are especially hard to come by during these challenging times and your generous gift is greatly appreciated.  Your support is allowing me to stay in my home and continue with my treatment plan.

 

Thank you again for your gift of hope during this difficult time.

 

Sincerely,

Patient X

 

 

 

We would like to thank you for your generous gift.  If it had not been for your help we would not have been able to get our car smog checked and registered.  Your help has given us faith that we can make it through this difficult time.

 

We wish you all the best, now and in the future!

 

Love,

X, X and X

 

 

 

Thanks for helping us with this money.  It helped a lot in these difficult days.  I thank all of you guys that you did this donation for the ones that need it.  Bless you for what you do, and we are so thankful for that.  God bless you.

 

Sincerely,

X