The greatest privilege we have at Hope Strengthens Foundation is to support inspirational people across the nation as they battle illness, disability, or injury. We learn about personal stories of tragedy and triumph. By joining their fight, we are exposed to the intimacy of their struggles and the raw emotions of life and death that can test the human spirit.
This was especially true for our relationship with 12-year old Michael Scala who valiantly battled leukemia for the past three years. It is with great sadness we announce that Michael has passed away.
Hope Strengthens connected with Michael and his mom Michelle through our friend Tara White. Tara was volunteering at Boston Children’s Hospital where Michael was undergoing treatment. Michael’s positive attitude and kindness stood out to Tara. She also recognized the family’s struggle to keep up with the financial challenge of continuous medical care. Tara knew first-hand the support that Hope Strengthens could offer because she is a brain cancer survivor and one of our first beneficiaries.
Cancer not only took Michael’s life, it put Michelle in a position of great financial uncertainty. Michael endured chemotherapy, two bone marrow transplants, and clinical trials. Michelle never left Michael’s side as they both weathered extended stays in hospitals across Florida, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. As a result of her dedication to Michael, Michelle couldn’t work in the formal sense. She had a more important job to do: be a (single) mom to Michael and constantly comfort him while scouring the nation for options that would potentially extend Michael’s life in hopes of finding a cure.
A trail of medical, transportation, and care bills can be as relentless as the disease that create them. Even with insurance, co-pays are overwhelming when a regular paycheck isn’t coming in. In addition to legacy medical bills, Michelle is now faced with Michael’s funeral expenses.
To help Michelle, Hope Strengthens Foundation is committed to raising $15,000 to help offset Michael’s legacy medical bills and care expenses. We have an anonymous donor willing to match the first $1,500 in contributions received! So your donations over the next several days will make an even greater difference.
This is arguably the most important and heartfelt ask we’ve made since our inception. Michelle is going through an unimaginable tragedy. With your support we can launch a plan to absorb the financial pressures associated with Michael’s illness and begin the healing process by ensuring his spirit lives on through our work to help others in need.
To make a 100% tax-deductible donation in loving memory of Michael, please visit the following link. Contributions of all sizes will make a difference. We also ask that you kindly share this message with contacts in your network that may be able to assist.
Jake, Jim, Joe, Kerry and Rafe
Hope Strengthens Foundation