Christmas for Ada and her three granddaughters will be different than in the past.
After being diagnosed with cancer in March for the second time in her life, she was forced to stop working her two jobs, all while caring for her daughter and son-in-law and their three daughters.
Michelle and David, the girls’ parents, are both disabled. Now the family is getting by only with their Social Security disability benefits, but they’re falling behind.
“I actually applied for disability and I’m waiting to hear, but as soon as I get any kind of money, it’s going to go to catching up,” Ada said.
The family of six would normally join their relatives for the holidays, but this year, with an upcoming surgery to remove Ada's cancer, they'll spend time together at home.
Isabella, the youngest, excitedly asked for press-on nails for Christmas. Gabrielle, 14, nodded in agreement. And makeup, she added.
Sophia, 10, didn’t ask for anything. She was quieter than her sisters, resting her head on her grandmother’s shoulder as Ada talked about bills and her upcoming surgery. The girls are aware of their family’s struggles.
“They’re used to doing without,” Ada said. “They don’t ask for much. They know.”
Two weeks after returning to school in August, the girls came home with COVID-19. Sophia was admitted to a local hospital where she recovered without seeing her family for days.
“She was miserable,” Michelle said with tears in her eyes. “But she pulled through it. She was still happy, talking, playing. I stayed with her on FaceTime through most of it. Once they all got better, they were excited to be back together. We all were.”
The children represent thousands who will be helped by the Caller-Times Children's Christmas Appeal. The names of the families profiled have been changed to protect their privacy.
Since 1973, the Caller-Times has reported the struggle of needy children and their families during the holiday season. All the money donated to the Christmas Appeal campaign benefits the children; all overhead costs are borne by the Caller-Times, United Way of the Coastal Bend, and participating agencies. This year, the Nueces County Record Star and the Alice Echo-News Journal joined the campaign.
Participating agencies include Boys & Girls Club of Alice, Duval County Christmas Committee, the Kleberg County Welfare Department, Nueces County Department of Social Services, the Odyssey After School Enrichment Program in Rockport, Sinton for Youth Inc., and the Purple Door.
HOW TO DONATE
Here are three ways to help:
*Fill out the donation form on Page 2A. Make your check or money order payable to Children’s Christmas Appeal and mail to: United Way of Coastal Bend, 4659 Everhart Road, Corpus Christi, TX, 78411 (designate funds to Children's Christmas Appeal)
*Donate online at www.uwcb.org. Look for the Christmas Appeal logo.
*Text ChristmasAppeal (no spaces) to 41444 to make a donation.
This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Christmas Appeal: Girls expect modest holiday as grandma fights cancer