A recent article in the The New York Times Magazine, What Happened to Us, by Jon Mooallem, talks about our collective resistance to reflect on what we experienced during the pandemic and our relentless drive to return to “normal”. The article made me think of the traumatic experiences of families who have a child in cancer treatment. A parent would do anything to go back to the day before they were told, “your child has cancer.” They long for the day when they end treatment and life can return to normal.
Families with a child in cancer treatment spend every day with the fear and stress of not knowing when life will return to normal. On top of that, they can’t work, they can’t sleep and the bills are piling up. We can’t take away the stress of having a child in the hospital or sick from chemotherapy, but we can take away the stress of not being able to pay the bills.
In 2022, JUST TRYAN IT supported 214 families: 124 families with direct financial assistance, 75 families with gift cards, and 15 families with other financial resources. All of these families had a child in cancer treatment at one of our partner hospitals in Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, North Carolina or Massachusetts. The average grant amount was $1,906.
Seventy-three percent of JUST TRYAN IT patient families are living on a post diagnosis income of less than $60,000 per year. Sixteen percent of our grantee families are living on an annual post diagnosis income of less than $20,000. In order to support our neediest families, we launched the Deep Need grant fund. This program provides families with 3-6 months of financial assistance. In 2022, we provided 8 families with Deep Need support. The grants averaged $6,250 per family.
The 2022 Impact Report provides greater detail on the breakdown of who we serve and how we help them. I hope you will take the time to review this report to learn more about our work with families and our very successful Kids Triathlons.
The pandemic forced us to retreat into ourselves. So many of us languished without the connection to our community. I am so proud of the JUST TRYAN IT community for coming together to support one another and knitting our communities together again.