Unable to work as she received treatment, Ms. Gil and her children moved into her mother’s one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx. Her mother cared for Ms. Gil and for her daughter, Alexa, while Ms. Gil cared for Pedro.
“I had never needed to ask for help before. I didn’t know anything about receiving aid,” said Ms. Gil, who searched online and found that she and Pedro qualified for disability assistance. Ms. Gil saved those checks to pay for an apartment for the three of them, which they moved to in 2014. She fed her family with help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Ms. Gil was still receiving treatment for her cancer when Pedro fell ill again. From January 2015 to 2017, Pedro was treated for leukemia at the NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. Pedro’s case worker there not only helped Ms. Gil apply for more public assistance, but also supported her emotionally through the wrenching period.
“The only thing I had to worry about when I was at the hospital was Pedro’s health,” Ms. Gil said. “They helped me with everything else.”
When Ms. Gil fell behind on rent in the summer of 2020, it was Pedro’s case worker who reached out to the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood, a community service center. Ms. Gil had been caring for Pedro, who had relapsed in 2019 and required multiple rounds of chemotherapy. He received a bone-marrow transplant in January 2020.
Using $2,932 in Fund money received from the UJA-Federation of New York, a beneficiary of The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, the Washington Heights Y paid for three months of Ms. Gil’s rent in October 2020.
Today, Ms. Gil is studying to be a nurse’s assistant and Pedro is back in school. “I want other families to know that help is out there,” Ms. Gil said.
Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/25/neediest-cases/scrambling-to-keep-up-with-the-rent.html351