The funds we provide go towards basic needs of everyday living, such as utility bills, making a car, rent or mortgage payment, providing gas, groceries and sadly we are receiving more and more requests to assist with funeral expenses. We work with the Social Workers on the cancer floor and all payments are made on the family’s behalf to help ensure they are able to be by their child’s side when needed most. In fact, we have never turned anyone away and 100% of the proceeds go to help the families due to the generous support of the community and our volunteers who donate their time and commitment.
Thank you for your support on behalf of Rob’s Rescue Foundation. We know how important this financial assistance is to the families and how very much it is appreciated.
Robert was an eighteen year old who wasn’t afraid to live and wasn’t afraid to die. He was a typical high school student…liked to play sports, especially baseball. It was during his junior year at Cardinal Mooney High School when he started feeling tired, had a fever on and off and a sore neck. Robert was never one to complain, but when he started taking naps (which had never happened even as a baby) I knew something was not right. I diagnosed him, as any mother would, with mononucleosis and called the doctor to confirm this diagnosis.
We went to Dr. Meyer’s office on February 17, 2002 for blood work and on February 19 we got the results from the doctor. On that day, our lives would forever be changed. I didn’t really know the true meaning of Leukemia when Robert and I were sitting in the office and told that he would immediately need to go to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. We knew that “Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be All Right”, which is what kept Robert going during the next eleven months. The next few days were spent with doctors, nurses, specialists, and many, many tests.
The leukemia test came back as AML, which was not good news, but Robert was not going to let that get him down. During the next few months he had many rounds of chemotherapy, lost his hair, was one sick boy, but the one thing he didn’t lose was his smile. He celebrated his 18th birthday on the rooftop of All Children’s with many of our friends – it was a great time.
It was determined that Robert needed a bone marrow transplant and it was scheduled for May 25, 2002 with his sister, Megann, being a perfect match. Megann was a senior at Elon University in North Carolina and was a trooper throughout this ordeal. She came to St. Petersburg the week of her college graduation and donated her bone marrow to Robert. What better gift could a sister ever give to her brother? Robert got through the transplant with no trouble and life seemed normal again – for about two months.
On August 3 Robert relapsed again and nothing seemed to work after that. In October, after a bone marrow test at All Children’s, we were told that there was nothing more they could do and to go home and to try and enjoy the time left. Of course that was devastating and I’ll never forget the tears running down Robert’s face. I immediately got on the phone and within a matter of days we were on our way to MD Anderson Cancer Hospital in Houston, Texas. I knew that somehow they could help us. Robert had several trial drugs there and on December 22 we were sent home from there and told to call Hospice.
On January 15, 2003 we watched Robert as he went to be with Jesus. He was not the least bit scared and he made that bearable for us too. During his eleven month struggle with cancer he never once got mad, asked “why me” or felt sorry for himself. He put everyone at ease and made them feel hopeful. I know that in his eighteen years he did what he was sent here to do. He lived for each day and made the best of each day.