Parents turn to Goodfellows after daughter diagnosed with leukemia

Maria and her husband were doing as well as anyone can expect supporting four kids on a single blue-collar income.

Then, their 19-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia.

“My husband works construction, and we try to spend money on just what we have to,” Maria said. “I don’t work now. I take care of my daughter, get her through chemo and everything.”

Maria said her daughter is getting treatment through Cook Children’s Medical Center, but related expenses left nothing in the Christmas budget for a second consecutive year. And for a second time, Maria asked for help from the Goodfellow Fund.

With $50 J.C. Penney gift cards, Maria made Christmas warmer for her sons. She bought jeans and a sweater for Daniel, 13. She got shoes and a sweater for 11-year-old Alejandro, and some shirts and a sweater for his twin brother, Abraham.

“They really needed what they got, and they are very happy to get them,” Maria said.

The boys also are happy that their big sister’s prognosis is good.

“The doctor says she’s going to finish chemotherapy next November, then she’ll have to take a lot of pills,” Maria said. “Actually, she’s taking a lot of pills now.”

So, 2018 likely will be pretty similar to this year, and Maria expects she’ll need the Goodfellows again. With prayer and faith, she looks forward to a year when “our lives will get better and we won’t need any more help.”

Be a jolly Goodfellow

Since 1912, the Star-Telegram’s Goodfellow Fund has provided practical gifts for schoolchildren. Join this tradition by sending a contribution to Goodfellows, Box 1870, Fort Worth, TX 76101. Or go online to and make a secure credit card donation.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram