Dear Mark & The River Listeners:
I have the lucky honor to introduce you and your listeners to a feisty all boy ALL THE TIME 2-year-old named Edgardo. Edgardo was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia ( or ALL) in August of this year. He will undergo chemotherapy treatments until he is 6 years old, a little over three years total therapy time. Edgardo has won the hearts of his care team with his spunkiness and beautiful smile. He knows just when to flash that mischievous grin and has become known as the “pocket bandit” in clinic. He keeps you on your toes by reaching into your pockets and grabbing what he can all while dazzling that beautiful smile to make you forgive him. He is such a fun & loving soul.
Edgardo's family affectionately calls him “Gordo” and they are trying their best to stay positive through his treatment. Gordo’s treatment has caused many hardships for his family, but they are adapting to this new way of life. His treatment demands multiple trips to the clinic for chemotherapy and many unplanned hospitalizations. His mother, Lillian, has been with him every step of the way comforting, consoling and loving her sweet precious boy. She has been visibly upset, as any parent would, seeing her child having to endure port accesses, surgeries, and chemotherapy. Gordo has suffered nausea/vomiting, hair loss and treatment has changed his ability to eat and drink at times. Through it all, she has remained his constant source of support. Her heart constantly aches with how to encourage and parent Edgardo and her other five children. She never feels like she does enough, but truly is going above and beyond all the time. Lillian is loving, kind and always full of a gracious attitude. She is quick to thank everyone who helps them and is always flashing a smile, a trait Edgardo has learned from her. When able Edgardo’s father, Marcello, is present but he provides the sole income for his family. He struggles not being present, but he works hard to provide financial support for all of them.
Lillian was overjoyed with the offer of being a Christmas Wish family and couldn’t believe she had been considered. She is very humble and took some coaxing to list items beyond ones of necessity. For Edgardo, he loves Paw Patrol and Mickey Mouse and his mother feels a “tablet” of some sort would be helpful for distraction and education for him. His 10-year old sister, Madelin, would love a bicycle, clothes and earrings. 8-year old brother, Luis David, loves soccer, toy cars and hopes for a bicycle. He loves to be outdoors. 5-year old, Jancarlos, really would love a bike as well and needs some clothes. Baby Marcelo, 10 months old, could use diapers, wipes, formula and clothes. Other favorites for all of the children are family activities such as coloring books, new crayons, markers, and board games. Mom also shared everyone could use some new shoes and usually they shop at Payless Shoes.
The family shops at Wal-Mart for groceries, household goods, and clothing. Wal-Mart and gas gift cards would be extremely valuable to the family to help in their everyday household needs. In talking with Lillian about their home life, she shared she cooks most of their meals to save money. Her current stove only has one working burner which makes meal preparation very difficult for a large family. Their refrigerator is also having issues. The freezer no longer freezes meats and parts of the refrigerator are not functioning. For a leukemia patient, having the ability to keep necessary oral chemotherapy medications cold are vital. This could create challenges to his care moving forward. A microwave would also be a welcomed addition to help with providing meals to them. Lillian and Marcello could also use some new clothing for themselves and a night out would be a true indulgence for them!
Every year I am humbled by the generosity of our community and your listeners, Mark. The Christmas Wish program not only blesses them with a Christmas that would likely not occur, but fuels their soul for the hardships they are enduring. Thank you will never feel like enough, but please know it is genuine and appreciated.
Amanda Crosby, RN
Pediatric Oncology Nurse Navigator
Memorial Health Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah
This year 98.7 The River has partnered with Jim 'N Nicks BBQ to make Christmas Wish possible.