ALERT

Cases 21-23: Seven children rely on woman with brain tumor

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100 Neediest

Drawing by Karis J. Kulp of DeSoto High School.

CASE 21 • Ms. D is a two-time cancer survivor who carries the weight of seven children relying on her. She works part time while caring for her twin nephews whose mother and father are incarcerated, two foster children — one who was sexually abused and another who watched her mother overdose — and the 2-year-old daughter of a former foster child who recently died from a heroin overdose. She is also supporting two of her biological children as they study in college. On top of this, D is scheduled to have brain surgery in January to remove a tumor. The family could use bedding, clothing and toys plus help with rent, utility payments and other household expenses.

CASE 22 • It started with a leaky roof. Now, five children and their mother are suffering medical problems from the mold in the home they bought five years ago. Mr. S is struggling to pay the medical bills for his family, including 6-year-old twin daughters and three older sons. They need a new roof and heating/cooling system, along with help paying utility bills. The family would also be grateful for winter clothing.

CASE 23 • O is a 10-year-old who has had three hip surgeries causing him to use a wheelchair and keeping him out of school for months. His mother has home-schooled him and taken him to physical therapy three times a week while working nights and while pregnant with another son, now 7 months old. The baby has heart health issues. O’s mother has a part-time, temporary job, but she is worried about paying bills that include student-loan debt. She asks for a television — the family’s TV just broke — as well as for a twin bed, a microwave and a monthly bus pass.

Case profiles by Erin Heffernan, Blythe Bernhard and Leah Thorsen of the Post-Dispatch.

To give

The tradition of 100 Neediest Cases campaign dates to 1922, when civic leaders formed the Christmas Bureau. The Post-Dispatch has partnered with the program for more than five decades, renaming it 100 Neediest Cases in 1954.

HOW IT WORKS • Social service agencies, working through the United Way, identify thousands of needy families. Volunteers then select 100 cases to be profiled in the newspaper to raise awareness.

WAYS TO GIVE

ADOPT A CASE • For highest-need cases, the program supplies donors with a list of a family's needs. Donors are asked to meet at least one of the stated needs and provide at least one present for each person in the family. Everything goes directly to the family, through a social worker.

DONATE • Monetary gifts to the 100 Neediest Cases general fund are used to help the more than 4,000 cases, and go directly to the families.

FUNDRAISE • Encourage friends, family and others to join you in helping. Set up a fundraising page for your adopted family or the program overall, and have an even bigger impact.

TO HELP • Call 314-421-6060 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, visit 100neediestcases.org, or mail a check payable to "100 Neediest Cases" (no cash) to P.O. Box 955925, St. Louis, Mo. 63195.

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