ANDREW'S HELPFUL HANDS
Helping families through the Bone Marrow Transplant process
Kids battling cancer need the full love and support of their family as they navigate all of the scary unknowns of treatment and recovery, so that they can finally leave the hospital and go back to their home.
But home isn't a guarantee for many. Medical debt accrues fast, and the time needed to care for your family often forces one or both parents to reduce hours or leave their employment entirely.
Andrew's Helpful Hands will help by paying your Mortgage or Rent during this critical time. WE allow families to focus 100% on what is important, their Child!
Reach out to our Director, Zenaide "Zee" Swenson, by phone or email if you or someone you know needs our help.
We save people's homes because people saved our home.
Andrew John Swenson was born July 27th 1995, and by his second birthday was diagnosed with Leukemia. By his fourth birthday, he was headed to Bone Marrow Transplant.
His mother, Zenaide, would move into his hospital room with him. His father, John, would soon be let go from his job for his irregular hours bringing their son, Jonathan, to visit his brother after school.
After 5 years of battling cancer, Andrew just wanted to go home. Unfortunately, with insurmountable hospital bills and unstable income, we were about to lose our home. That's when his uncle John Sousa, the founder of Andrew's Helpful Hands, gathered friends, family, neighbors, and strangers to help pitch in to pay our mortgage so Andrew could come home and our family could be together in our home. Andrew later passed away the morning after his seventh birthday surrounded by family, friends and his 4 legged companion, Cinnamon in our home not in a hospital or unknown place.
While in the hospital Andrew would frequently give away nearly all of his Christmas presents to his less fortunate "neighbors" on his "street". Andrew's generosity to his neighbors, and our neighbors generosity to our family, was a debt that couldn't go unpaid. After a discussion that Andrew had with his uncle that we needed to help others is when Andrew's Helpful Hands was born. Andrew was still alive when his organization was created and he has had his "hand" in everything we do.
Our logo is Andrew's handprint. This came about during transplant when he had GVHD (Graft vs. Host Disease). The GVHD had caused and extreme itch and burn over his whole body. Making “handmade High 5” postcards was a distraction that kept him from itching and peeling his old and new skin.
How proud he was to attend his first distribution to a Hudson family. Now, Andrew, his uncle and his trusted 4 legged companion are all together watching what we all do to keep the good going.
In memory of Andrew, we've helped pay the mortgages or rents of over 60 families since 2002. Currently your donations to our Family Fund are helping to support:
Neo from Southbridge who just turned 18, is almost done with his treatments, and will be ready to safely enter the public again in December!
Cris from Revere is 10 years old, and is about to start his Bone Marrow Transplant in November. They are ready to fight and we are ready to help!