Mother with cancer, 23, hopes for toys, beds for her kids

Educational games, a talking train and a beautiful princess dress would make the holidays a bit brighter for three children whose mother is facing a health crisis.

Nominated by the Maslow Project, 23-year-old Lisa is facing treatment for cervical cancer and a bleak Christmas, said Talia Matthias, a Maslow Project family advocate.

"Lisa was diagnosed with the early stages of cervical cancer at the age of 14," Matthias said.

The cancer has slowly progressed. And Lisa is due to have surgery three days before Christmas. Lisa's insurance won't cover the level of surgery she requires, so she might need chemotherapy after the procedure if all the cancer is not removed, Matthias said.

Lisa had a rough upbringing and is not in contact with most of her family.

She is raising her children, James, 6, Emily, 2, and Michael, 1, without help, Matthias said. The young mom has been on a waiting list for federally assisted housing since 2008. She and her three children have been living in a one-bedroom apartment, Matthias said.

A student at Rogue Community College, Lisa is studying Early Childhood Development.

"She is paying for it all by herself," Matthais said.

Because of her illness, Lisa had to drop classes and lost her financial aid until spring term.

Even as Lisa's difficulties mount, Matthias is hoping the community will step in and help give the children some cheer.

James, 6, would love learning games such as LeapFrog. He also loves trains and the Avengers.

Two-year-old Emily "has speech issues," Matthias said. "So learning games would be great for her as well."

Emily also loves to play "princess dress-up," she said. A sparkly dress in size 2-T should fit her imaginary majesty, she added.

Thomas the Train is beloved by 1-year-old Michael, who also enjoys jumbo Legos, Matthias said.

The family could really use more beds. Two twins with bedding would be perfect, she said. And also bedding for their current queen bed, she added.

As for Lisa, she "would love to put up real curtains with curtain rods," Matthias said.

If you would like to help this family, contact Matthias at 541-608-6868.

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