Melissa (“Missy”) was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer called “Neuroblastoma”. Children’s Roads to Recovery, helped with parking coupons, gasoline coupons, as well as food coupons inside the hospital, and train tickets.
We are the Trieb family. Back in 1995, our youngest child of three, Melissa (“Missy”) was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer called “Neuroblastoma”. We were devistated by this diagnosis that we received here in Baltimore at Sinai Hospital. After immediately beginning very aggressive rounds of chemotherapy at Sinai, we began researching numerous other protocols that were designed to potentially “cure” this terminal cancer. We found ourselves jumping from area hospital to hospital and finally ending our search and beginning new and highly experimental treatments at Johns Hopkins Hospital. After months of more chemotherapy, surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible, radiation therapy and an autologous bone marrow/stem-cell transplant that drained our family both emotionally and financially. But, whatever it took to cure our sweet daughter was OK by us. Our social worker introduced us to an agency pretty early on called “Children’s Roads to Recovery”. We were told that the Polk family also had endured aggressive treatment for neuroblastoma at Johns Hopkins for their son, Christopher. After speaking to them directly regarding medical issues and family issues, their agency had agreed to help us financially with parking coupons (for Johns Hopkins garages which were quite costly), gasoline coupons at local Crown Gas Stations, as well as food coupons inside the hospital. This was SO incredibly wonderful and oh-so-helpful. After our daughter’s treatments ended she went into remission for 22 months; however, we were still returning to the hospital on monthly visits and tri-monthly re-staging/scan schedules. Again, Children’s Roads to Recovery were helpful to us in the above-mentioned ways. Our journey did not complete at this point. Our daughter relapsed with neuroblastoma once again and we needed to re-investigate our options and protocols that are constantly being tested and revised all over the country. We found that a wonderful hospital in New York City,
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) was the place to help “cure” our child once again. Unfortunately, this time, the travel expenses to and from Manhattan/NYC were astronomical for a family struggling with medical and everyday living expenses. Again, thankfully, Children’s Roads to Recovery helped us by providing us with costly round-trip AMTRAK tickets from Baltimore to NYC via the NorthEast Direct. We were so grateful that CRTR was there to help us out; I don’t believe we would have been able to do all that we did for our child if not for Vivian, Mike and the rest of CRTR. Our story does not have a happy ending as we had lost our beloved Melissa on November 5, 1999. She was fighting her third battle against the dreaded neuroblastoma beast. Nonetheless, our family will ALWAYS remain thankful to CRTR for their heartfelt caring and generosity. We have promised to return the help by remaining active in their events and fundraisers that can help to build their financial base for other families that are in desperate need. We have currently outright directed our employer’s United Way contribution (from our paychecks) to Children’s Roads to Recovery; you may want to look into this generous offering as well!