Providing for Families in Times of Hardship for 24 Years
Twenty-four years ago, a local businessman in Aptos was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. As the cancer progressed, he was unable to work or support his family as the holidays approached. Our community put on a spaghetti feed and the money collected went to help his family. Patrice Edwards, of Times Publishing Group, Inc., and a friend worked tirelessly to collect toys, food, clothes, rent money, and more to carry his family through the coming months. This was the birth of Aptos-Adopt-a-Family.
Over the years there have been hundreds of stories, and thousands of gifts. Gifts of wheelchairs, a handicap accessible van, lifts, food, clothes, toys, bikes, rent—gifts that helped many a family enjoy the holidays.
This year, Aptos-Adopt-A-Family is partnering with Jacob’s Heart. Started in 1998 by Lori Butterworth when her friends’ son Jacob was diagnosed with leukemia, she has built the organization from the ground up. Under Lori’s leadership, Jacob’s Heart has grown from serving one child with cancer 19 years ago, to a nationally recognized model of community-based pediatric palliative care serving hundreds of children and thousands of family members each year. Aptos-Adopt-A-Family is proud to offer the community the opportunity to adopt families from Jacob’s Heart through the holiday season.
Story From A Father
By Eric Hobson
The day my beautiful daughter Amani was born, I prayed, “Help me be a good father to this precious little girl; let me guide her, teach her. And, Lord, when the boys start coming around, please give me patience.”
I cannot describe how it feels to hear those words. We fathers want nothing more than to protect our children. But in these circumstances, what would that mean? I knew I needed to be strong, to comfort my wife and our other daughters. But honestly, I wasn’t feeling strong when I heard those words.
Then they said something I didn’t understand. “You’re lucky,” they told us. “You have something in your community that most communities do not have. It’s called Jacob’s Heart. You will not be alone in the days ahead.”
At the time, I had no idea what that meant. But within days, it all became clear.
Jacob’s Heart guided us every step of the way, providing what we needed when we needed it – people to talk to who understood what was happening, information and explanations when we were confused, even gasoline for our car so that we could make the countless trips back and forth to the hospital, and groceries when we couldn’t get to the store.
Perhaps most importantly to me, Jacob’s Heart introduced me to Vince, whose son Renzo survived the same kind of cancer Amani had. When we met, I told Vince that we were on our way for a scan. Vince, knowing exactly how I was feeling, said, “Oh, you have scanxiety…Every time my son went for a scan I felt that way.” Words fail when I try to describe how comforting it was to be with a father who knew exactly what I was feeling. Vince and I became fast friends, as did our families.
Today, with Amani and Renzo both miraculously well, Vince and I are helping other fathers survive their scanxiety, holding them close to our Jacob’s Heart family.
You too are a part of that family, generously making it possible for all of us to benefit from this extraordinary, essential organization. I honestly don’t know how we would have made it without you.
Today, I offer my deepest thanks to you and ask that you join us again by supporting Jacob’s Heart as generously as you can. Together, we will be strong for the next child and her family. And together, we will ensure that no parent walks this road alone.
Sincerely, Eric Hobson—Amani’s Father
Please give us a call to find out how you can adopt a family this year or how you can help make this a Merry Christmas for one of our families by donating to the program. In addition to working with Jacob’s Heart we will also take referrals from families facing medical challenges. All referrals are confidential.
Call Aptos Adopt-A-Family at 688-7549 x12 to refer someone. To send a donation: Aptos Adopt-A-Family c/o Times Publishing Group – 9601 Soquel Drive – Aptos, CA 95003 or contact Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services 680 West Beach Street Watsonville CA 95076, Phone 831.724.9100, Web Jacobsheart.Org