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Dear Tom,

My wife and I were blessed to have 3 beautiful children—a girl and two boys.  We were living the American dream and in one day our lives were shattered.  In December 2008, our daughter suddenly passed away days after her thirteenth birthday, due to complications from sickle-cell anemia. This happened three days before Christmas on my wife’s 34th birthday.

Our youngest son was also born with sickle cell disease.   Two years ago, we found out that our sons were bone marrow matches and a transplant was performed on my then five year old.  While it was successful and cured his disease, severe complications from post procedures nearly destroyed his entire digestive system.   As a result, he has had multiple surgeries and has developed a compromised immune system.

Since July 2012, my family has spent every holiday at my son’s hospital bedside, because he has been too ill to be treated at home.   Well, we finally received the good news that my little guy’s health has improved enough for him to be home this holiday season.

Tom, it is my Christmas wish to make this a really special Christmas holiday and to celebrate both my son’s 7th birthday, my wife’s 40th and to thank my eldest son for helping his baby brother.  This will also be the six-year anniversary of our daughter’s passing. I do not have any extra financial resources at this time to make this happen on my own.    Over one year ago, i had to quit my job to provide full-time health care for our son at home.    I have exhausted all of my savings, and retirement trying to keep my family afloat.

All I want to do is make this a joyous holiday for my family in spite of all that we have recently been through.

CHRISTMAS WISH: Jesse Daniel  was originally published on