One of the families in need at the YMCA are Angela and Lilli. Angela and Lilli are a special duo that have been a part of the YMCA’s After School program. Angela is a single mother who has been using the Y program for her daughter, Lilli. In March of 2011, Angela was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. When Angela received this devastating diagnosis, Lilli had just turned 1. After 6 rounds of chemo, several different surgeries, and 6 weeks of radiation, Angela found the chemo and radiation worked well. At the time of the diagnosis, Angela’s doctors told her she had only about 3 years to live. She is now coming up on 8 years and beat the odds already by an amazing 5 years! A chemo medication is still provided every 3 weeks to help her remain resilient.
In the spring of 2018, Angela got the news that a different type of cancer was found leading to a mastectomy and her second major surgery.
During this tough time, Angela worried about Lilli. She thought the YMCA After School program would be a perfect fit for Lilli to socialize and play while Angela was battling her medical challenges.
A POSITIVE LIGHT DURING A DIFFICULT TIME FOR FAMILIES IN NEED
The YMCA After School program turned out to be a blessing for Angela! The program eased the extra stress of making it home from appointments in time for the bus and allowed time for rest on exhausting days.
This kind of diagnosis can be upsetting and hard on any family. For a child Lilli’s age, she easily became upset about her mother’s cancer. When Angela was not up to doing much, it was comforting to know Lilli had a good environment where she could be active, have encouragement, and friends to support her! Lilli is a trooper, and the Y program has helped keep her spirits high!
Angela cannot have more respect for Lilli’s Site Director, Miss Angie, who became a support system and positive light during a difficult time. The Y program has taken away stress from Angela’s life and helped Lilli have positive experiences during a tough time.
Living with cancer is a challenge, but stories like Angela’s give us hope. At the YMCA, we are inspired by the families and children who choose to be Y families every day!
If you would like to help support families in need like Angela and Lilli, consider a donation to the Youth Development YMCA Annual Campaign, which provides financial assistance and scholarship support to families in need.