It's not uncommon to know someone diagnosed with cancer, a family whose child has medical issues or someone with an unsteady job. But it's not every day you hear about a family dealing with all three at once. Our Cara Thomas sat down and spoke with the Marcellos about the difficult times ahead and how they plan to make it through.
ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Marcello's life as a family was just beginning. Tija and Ernie's daughter was born a little more than a year ago and they had just moved into a home of their own when bad news came knocking at their door.
"About a month ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and we are currently in the process of diagnosing our 16-month-old with cyclic neutropenia," said Tija.
It's a rare blood disease which affects the white blood cells and causes someone to get sick very easily and for longer amounts of time.
She said, "We've been testing her all throughout the summer now, taking her twice a week to get her blood drawn, poor little pumpkin."
But Gianna isn't the only one who's been seeing doctors on a regular basis. With Tija's recent diagnosis, the last month has been filled with tests and doctors appointments. And medical bills are piling up.
"They haven't started rolling in yet, but I'm expecting it to be out of this world. I can't even imagine what it's going to look like," said Tija.
If that's not enough to worry about, Tija will be out of work for at least six months and because she had already been out for some time, come November, they will no longer be covered under her job's health insurance plan. Seeing a need, family and friends stepped in to help immediately, creating an online fundraising campaign to help them with medical and monthly expenses.
She said, "It's just nice to know that people are there and people care. It's going to be a long road to the end of this, but it's nice to know that there's a lot of people out there that care."
Tija will be going in next month for surgery and will then go through aggressive chemotherapy.
A benefit will be held for the Marcellos on November 9th at the Oriskany American Legion from 1 to 5 p.m.
If you'd like to help support the Marcello family, visit www.youcaring.com .