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Family deals with cancer, unemployment, homelessness

Editor's note: Light One Candle is an annual series sponsored by the Mail Tribune that focuses on an individual, group or agency who could use a helping hand during the holiday season. Once that need is filled, donations may be distributed to others in need.

Cancer, unemployment and homelessness dealt blow after devastating blow to this family of five. Winter clothes and small appliances would soften some of their hardships.

A year ago, the 42-year-old mother’s rare form of cancer hospitalized her nine times over three months. His wife’s life in peril, the 46-year-old man lost a job he’d held for 13 years, said Kirstin Cronin, case manager for Medford’s Maslow Project.

Challenging circumstances turned calamitous when the family’s rental home was sold, giving them 60 days to vacate. Hopping from motel to motel with their three children, the Medford couple spent $300 to $400 weekly to stay off the streets. A virtual stranger’s kindness lets them bide time in a basement — a single room without a bathroom or kitchen — until January, when they can move to a local shelter.

Maslow Project furnishes some of the family’s basic needs, including food, toiletries and clothes. Despite ingredients from Maslow’s food pantry, their lack of cooking equipment relegates the family to convenience fare, such as granola bars and apples. A dorm-size refrigerator, microwave and hot-plate would offer more nutritious options.

Because the family can’t afford to retrieve belongings from storage, they need cold-weather clothing, especially coats. The oldest girl, 14, and her 12-year-old sister both wear women’s size medium and juniors’ size 3 and women’s size 6 in pants, respectively. Their brother, 8, wears boys’ size 7/8 in tops and bottoms.

The family craves escape from their cramped accommodations over Christmas break. Gift cards to Rogue Valley Family Fun Center, Rogue Air Park and Tinseltown or for bowling or rock-climbing would thrill them. Bicycles, rollerblades, scooters and art supplies also would keep the kids active.

To help, call Cronin at 541-200-9403.

Family deals with cancer, unemployment, homelessness