Wendy Gonzales is a single mother to a 9-year-old boy who’s battling a brain tumor.
Her son Josh was born with a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on any nerve ending in his body. As a result, three years ago, he was diagnosed with optic nerve glioma, which is a tumor between his optic nerve. This caused him to become legally blind in his right eye.
Josh started chemotherapy in November 2016 to combat this tumor. He continued the same chemotherapy treatment for a year. But it wasn’t working, so his doctor suggested they try a different one.
He recently started a new chemotherapy treatment. And just a few weeks ago, Wendy said, they found out it’s making a difference. The swelling from behind his right eye is decreasing and the tumor is starting to shrink for the first time.
“I feel so relieved to know the new chemotherapy treatment is working and that I don’t have to worry about the cost because he’s covered through KidsCare,” Wendy said.
For Wendy, KidsCare has been a lifeline. It has made it possible for her son to get all his medical needs met. Besides his chemotherapy treatments, KidsCare also covers Josh’s medications, eye scans, MRI’s, and doctors’ visits.
KidsCare also covers her daughter, Malia, who mostly uses the health insurance for doctor visits whenever she gets sick.
Wendy works as a parent professional caring for a fourth grader with Down syndrome at a school in Tucson. Prior to that, she was a teacher for 17 years. Currently, she doesn’t make enough money to afford her son’s medical needs or a private health insurance. But she can afford the small monthly premium for KidsCare.
She said without KidsCare, there’s no way she would be able to afford her son’s chemotherapy treatments, which means he’d have to stop the treatment and risk taking a step backwards on all the progress he’s making.
“If we stop chemotherapy, will this tumor now affect his left eye?” she said. “Will I now have a totally legally blind child at the age 10? It’s a very scary thought and I don’t even want to think about it.”