Hayley's Hope Saved Her Life
The CFCNCA relies on a dedicated group of Campaign Workers to take on critical leadership roles within a powerful community of caring. Approximately 30,000 Campaign Workers serve the campaign every year, training, fundraising, engaging leaders, event planning, and thanking donors. Many of these individuals have a story about why the CFC is important to them.
We recently interviewed Melissa Goodloe from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Here is an excerpt from that interview:
Q: Tell me a little bit about you and your family.
Hayley, my thirteen-year-old daughter, and I live with Jeff, my significant other of 11 years, and our four-year-old dog, Cupid. Hayley is my only child and, therefore, my pride and joy.
Over the last five years, Hayley has grown quite close to her now best friend Holly. They’re basically inseparable. In addition to Holly, we’ve actually grown close to her family; they’re a big part of our lives. I’m thankful for that relationship and can explain why a little later.
Q: Tell me about the circumstances that led your daughter to seek help from a CFC-funded charity.
In July 2011, Hayley was traveling in California with her friend Holly and her family. On that trip, she started to have severe pain in her lower leg. Holly’s parents took Hayley to an emergency room in California and it was at that time that the doctor identified an unusual mass in her lower left leg. Though Hayley spent a few days in California before coming home, upon her return, we immediately took her to John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore where she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer.
It accounts for only one percent of all childhood cancers.
Q: How is Hayley doing today?
Today, Hayley is cancer free. She received 14 rounds of chemotherapy between July 2011 and March 2012. She had surgery in November 2011 to remove her fibula bone in her right leg in an effort to reduce the possibility of the disease worsening. Two weeks after her surgery, she was walking around without issue. She is very active young lady and has no physical restrictions. In fact, Hayley spent this fall cheerleading for the local boys and girls club.
During Hayley’s recovery, she was helped by many CFCNCA-funded charities. One charity provided free makeup to the cancer patients to help them look their best when they were not feeling their best. Another is granting Hayley a very special wish that she will remember forever. And another organization provided kitchen facilities in the hospital so that families staying at the hospital, like ours, were more comfortable. This doesn’t even include the organizations that support cancer research.
Q: What is her prognosis today?
Hayley’s prognosis is excellent. Although she will have to be closely monitored for several years, we’re thankful for where she is today and all those who contributed to helping us get to this point.
Q: What role does hope play in your daughter leading a happy, healthy life?
Hope is what got us to where we are today. Hayley is a very positive young girl. She never lost hope during her fight with cancer. In fact, she was so positive, the child life specialist at the hospital would seek Hayley out and ask her to talk to other patients diagnosed with cancer.
Her constant smile and optimism is infectious and this has everything to do with hope. She’s had hope from day one and at times, it steadied the both of us.
Q: Why should Federal workers donate to charities through the CFCNCA?
Every day, we come across people in need. You may not be able to tell by where they live, or work, or even what they wear, but the truth is that there are people out there who are suffering. They may need assistance paying rent, or obtaining job training, or even getting better healthcare.
Need has many faces.
Federal workers should donate through the CFCNCA because real people like me and Hayley were given a fighting chance with the donations pledged to the various participating agencies. Our journey was made a little easier because of the support received from various CFCNCA-funded charities.
It’s incumbent upon all of us to give what we can. The truth is that one day any one of us could be on the receiving end of a helping hand.