Child fights cancer, family struggles to afford bills

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- She's in the hospital in so much pain, she can't move. Shannon Hernandez says her 9-year-old daughter, Lily was recently diagnosed. It came as a shock to the family.

Hernandez said her daughter underwent a bone marrow transplant Wednesday.

"Come to find out she's tested positive for leukemia. This is a child that is an average 9-year-old girl. Does average things," Hernandez said. "Being a mom, it's super emotional trying to go through this, because nobody should ever have to through something like this. More or less a child."

Hernandez said she knows her daughter is not the first child with a cancer diagnosis and unfortunately won't be the last.

Hernandez said her family, aside from the physical pain her daughter is coping with, is dealing with fiscal issues.

"We don't have (any) income coming in right now. Our bills are piling up," Hernandez said.

She said friends and family have started a grassroots campaign to try to help her. She has reached out to her insurance provider, but she is not sure if it will be enough. Hernandez also reached out to the T.C. Jay Fund on Wednesday.

She said her family and daughter needs all the help they can get.

"The ultimate goal is for Lily to get better," Hernandez said. "To recover so she can ride her bike that she can't do no longer and take simple walks that she's unable to do right now. Eventually, I'd like for them to find a cure for this."

Kip Deckerhoff, a nurse manager for Weaver Wolfson's Children's Hospital said there are several resources available for families. They include:

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

The American Brain Tumor Association

They TC Jay Fund

The Child Cancer Fund

"In cases like this, the social work department will work to make sure parents know about and have access to every single resource they qualify for their children, to help with things including financial need, " Vikki Mioduszewski, a manager for Marketing and Public Relations for Wolfson Children's Hospital told First Coast News

Fore more information about childhood cancers, click here to be taken to the National Cancer Institute's website.


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