Hi, my name is Dusty Loomis. My daughter Joelle was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on September 30, 2013. I would like to share with you part of our story and how IACKids helped our family. We are your normal, everyday, middle class family. Its myself, my husband Bill, our daughter Alexandria (Allie 16) and the twins, Joelle & Jocelyn (11). Bill is a truck driver for Con-Way Freight and I, now, work for Wal-Mart. Joelle, like many 11 yr old girls, is full of life. Sheʼs our spunky, class clown, free spirited girl. She loves hanging out with her friends, playing video games, camping, fishing, and riding her bike and most of all, she LOVES animals! She wants to be a Vet or Zoologist when she grows up. It was just a few weeks into her 5th grade yr when I noticed that something was off. Normally when Joelle would come home from school you couldnʼt stop her from talking. This year she was very subdued, her energy level was down and it seemed that she was missing that little extra spunk that made her, her. I remember the moment my sister Tori called me to tell me about IACKids. I was sitting in the waiting room on the childrenʼs surgery floor. Joelle was in for a spinal tap and I was waiting for the doctor to come and tell me that it all went well and she would be waking up soon. As Iʼm sitting there waiting, Iʼm wondering where would we move to? It would make sense to move closer to Syracuse, Joelleʼs treatments were out here, Bill works out here…and then my phone rings. It was my little sister Tori and boy was she excited! Her boss at her work study program at Keuka College had told her about this foundation that an alumni and his friends started to help families like ours, financially. I couldnʼt help but smile and act a little excited at her excitement, but inside I was thinking “Ok, cool. They will probably give us a little bit of money to help out, but what we really need is a miracle.” After I completed the application I prayed! I prayed hard! I prayed for Joelleʼs health and that God continued to heal her body, that our family could be whole and healthy and that we didnʼt have to lose our home. I prayed for a miracle.
Loreto Barbone, the alumni from Keuka at IACKids, got right in touch with me to set up a time for us to talk and go over my application. After our first conversation, all I remember thinking was that this guy was too good to be true. He was so nice; he genuinely cared about my family and our situation. He kept thanking ME for disclosing such personal information, that he knew how hard that had to be for ME. I then understood why my sister had been so excited after talking with him. He gave us hope. Not hope that I wouldnʼt lose my home, but hope in the sense that there are good people out there that do care and want to help the best way that they can. I want to say it only took about 1 week when he called me to tell me what IACKids was able to do to help our family. Of course he always started the conversations with asking how Joelle was doing and then the rest of the family, which always made me smile. He truly did care how we were ALL doing. He then started to tell me ALL that IACKids was able to do. You see, they arenʼt like most foundations. Most foundations have a set amount that they give to every single family. IACKids is entirely different. They help you out in whatever way your family needs. Maybe your prescription copays are huge, they may pay those for a certain amount of time. Maybe you just need extra help with travel expenses such gas, food and tolls and they may cover that for you. IACKids did more than save our home, they gave us the ability to focus on Joelle, her treatments and the time we needed to put some of the pieces in our lives back together. Loreto had explained to me that they donʼt just come in and pay a bill or hand you a check and then leave. They build relationships. They are in this for the long haul and they want to give each family time to get back on their feet so that when the time comes they are able to be stable, financially. Since Joelleʼs diagnosis I have learned so many important things. One is that there are genuine people left in this world. Kind and caring people who from the bottoms of their hearts want to help make the world a better place. My family and I are fortunate enough to have met some of these people here at IACKids. I would like to say “Thank You”, again, to Loreto and all the members at IACKids for your kindness and your generosity. You guys are wonderful people and we are truly blessed for having you in our lives.