This year Mason Dixon’s Christmas Wish Fund — a nonprofit charity the popular radio personality founded two decades ago with his wife, Patricia Crawford — will receive hundreds of requests from families in need. The charity directly distributes gifts of cash, toys or certificates to recipients in time for Christmas.
Through the holidays, The Tampa Tribune will run some of the letters the Wish Fund receives in the Baylife section along with information how to help.
Here are two of the many requests:
Dear Wish Fund:
Our son, age 9, is a hemophiliac. He is treated at All Children’s Hospital.
The hemophilia was a complete surprise to us all, as no history of hemophilia existed in either of our families. His medicinal expenses alone are $75,000 a month, exclusive of doctor visits and hospital stays. This summer, he nearly lost his right hand to a severe bleed. In September, his Medi-Port stopped working and he underwent surgery. Surgery and hemophilia do not mix. And as of this past Wednesday, he’s in a cast-boot because he hurt his right foot running from house-to-house collecting Halloween candy.
Our daughter, age 11, is the sweetest, most caring and thoughtful kid I’ve ever known. At all times, she thinks of others first.
I lost my job at the bank in 2009. I kept our private insurance as long as I could, but eventually, the medical bills overwhelmed me. I spent everything I had to keep my son’s medical treatment current, and unfortunately I spent more than I had. In January 2012, I was granted personal bankruptcy liquidation protection by the court. I am now considered “fiscally irresponsible” by the financial services industry and am excluded from consideration for any job that will support my family.
We are on food stamps and, thankfully, the kids are on Medicaid, so their medical expenses are covered by the state. My wife and I haven’t seen a doctor in five years. I made a total of $8,500 for this year by helping new small businesses to get started and to grow. In October 2012, a private investment company bought out my only customer and business has all but stopped. Last year, 2012, I made a total of $22,750. I am past due on my November rent and don’t have the money to pay the utility bills.
Both kids, by the grace of a kind charity, attend a good private school. This past semester, my son got A’s and one B, and my daughter got A’s and B’s. We are so very proud of both their performances in school and for their bright outlook on the future.
Christmas is but a wish.
Dear Wish Fund:
Our dear family friends have four boys. One of their sons had to have open-heart surgery at 3 months old. He is now 5, and they found out in October that he will have to have another open-heart surgery when he is 14.
Then in early November, their youngest son was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and has been at All Children’s Hospital fighting to get healthy enough for chemotherapy treatments, which he just started. They also have been told he will have to have a bone marrow transplant sometime in the near future.
They are a strong family. They’ve been through so much over the past five years and are now fighting this latest battle with neuroblastoma. No family should have to deal with a child being sick or diagnosed with a disease, let alone two of their children. We are writing you to help us bring some joy and relief from this horrible situation, in hopes that it will lighten their spirits during this holiday season.