By Frank Bucholtz/Special to Aldergrove Star
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help two longtime Aldergrove residents who are struggling with significant health issues.
Tiffany Bakos, who now lives in the Cariboo, set up the campaign to assist Jennifer Malloy and her daughter Madeline (Maddie). All three of them formerly lived in Aldergrove for many years, and Bakos said Maddie “is the closest thing I have to a sister.”
The campaign is seeking to raise $5,000 to help the two Malloy women with the high cost of prescription drugs, most of which they pay for out of pocket.
The GoFundMe page states that “recently they have run into some tough times, with Jennifer experiencing some extreme chronic health issues.”
Jennifer struggles daily from her rare auto immune disorder (AID), Bakos explained, as well as a rare kidney disease.
“Unfortunately things have become extremely bad this time and she is now not only fighting severe complications from her kidney disease, she has recently broken her back and due to more complications now has multiple blood clots on top of everything else she has been battling.”
The two Malloy women now live in the B.C. Interior, and Maddie is her mother’s main caregiver.
They live in the same building, and because Jennifer is unable to work, Maddie supplies most of the funds for their day-to-day living, and she also suffers from auto immune disorder, which is genetic.
At the moment, Maddie says her symptoms are quite mild.
Jennifer was in hospital until recently, but is now at home “on a trial basis,” Maddie elaborated. Jennifer was told she has to return to hospital if anything worsens.
She has suffered from AID for at least 20 years, and was formally diagnosed 12 years ago.
“She was in and out of hospital when I was growing up,” Maddie recalled.
The blood clots might be related to the AID, but Maddie is not sure. Jennifer’s kidney problems, which are significant, are also a separate health issue.
“There has been discussions about a transplant or cutting nerve endings, but that would just be symptomatic treatment,” Maddie said.
“Even if she was given a new kidney, the problem would continue. The lining in her kidney is non-existent. She is in really bad pain.”
Jennifer’s health issues mean she is on a number of medications, which a pharmacist recently told her cost $60 to $70 per day, or about $1,800 per month.
A portion of that is covered by the Pharmacare program offered by the B.C. government, but the Malloys have to pay about 70 per cent of the costs themselves. They have no access to any benefit plans that would help pay for the cost of the needed drugs.
Most of the money for the prescription drugs comes from Maddie’s employment income. A close friend who lives in the same building has also helped out, as Jennifer has become like a mother to him.
“He doesn’t like to see Mom struggling,” Maddie said.
Despite all the challenges, the Malloys are enjoying their new home in the Interior.
“I love it up here. It is so peaceful,” said Maddie.
Bakos and Maddie grew up on the same street, and the Malloy family lived in Aldergrove for more than 20 years. They know plenty of people in the community.
Maddie attended D.W. Poppy Secondary for one year but then attended Aldergrove Community Secondary. She graduated from ACSS in 2016.
“I really care about Maddie,” Bakos shared. “I am close to them and was trying to think of what I could do to help. That’s where GoFundMe came in. I know she would do the same thing for me if I needed help.”
Bakos shared on the campaign page: “I have known them since I was six years old and know them to be some of the kindest, caring, and wonderful individuals, who are always helping people any time they can. They always put others before themselves and never ask for help, but they are in extremely unfortunate circumstances at the moment. I would like the load to be lessened at least a little bit for them, as they are currently just trying to keep their heads above water while Jennifer regains her health.”
As of Tuesday, March 14, the campaign had raised $970 towards the $5,000 goal.
The campaign web page can be found at www.gofundme.com, under “Donations to help Jennifer and Maddie.”
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