Update March 29, 2022
Update on Alexis Lopez-Pena.
First of all, the family’s finances were fully funded for the year! Thank you to all who donated to help with this. Alexis came home early from the hospital because Medicaid would not pay for a long hospital stay. His parents received training on how to take care of him at home and have been doing a great job. Dad drives Alexis 3 times a week to UNC hospital for testing – they are there from 6 am -6 pm! Alexis just received awesome news this week – the last set of testing showed NO sickle cell in his blood! The drs have reduced the amount of medication he is on and will monitor things in case he needs to go back on. The family has been quarantined since Alexis went into the hospital in November. Teachers have been involved to keep the kids on track in school but they can’t even go out and play on these nice weather days. Mom is praying that Alexis will continue to improve so that they may be able to send the kids to school in the fall – they are really missing being with their friends.
The family continues to receive food and clothing support from Dorcas. Liliana and I will be purchasing Easter goodies for the boys and some extra groceries and treats for the family. Thank you again for the way you stepped up to financially help and your continued prayers for this family.
Update December 20, 2021
Wanted to give you an update on Alexis and his family. Alexis had his surgery on November 17th.
Antonio, his brother who donated the bone marrow, is now home recuperating. He had 3 incisions, 2 have healed very well but the 3rd is taking more time. He is up and moving, though still pretty slow.
Alexis, because of the chemo treatments they did before the transplant, has lost his hair but not his awesome attitude. His body is already making new blood cells from his brother’s donation! The doctors are very encouraged as this is much earlier than they usually see results.
They are working with mom on what she needs to know to take care of Alexis when he is able to come home. This could be as early as February if he continues to progress as he has. His mom was able to visit him a week ago and Alexis’ only concern was that she would be upset to see him bald!
The family is so grateful to all who have been able to help them. There are a couple of us who are buying some Christmas gifts for the kids and when I asked if there was anything mom or dad would like, mom’s response was that we had already given them the best gift – a chance for Alexis to have a better life!
Thank you, Genesis UMC, for being such an amazing example of God’s love to this sweet family!!!
Update November 9, 2021
Michele Hundley received an update from Jasmin, my contact at Dorcas, on Alexis. He and his dad checked into the hospital yesterday. The drs have decided to do chemotherapy from yesterday to November 17th. They plan to do the bone marrow transplant on Nov 18th. Antonio, his brother, will do his pre evaluation on the 15th.
A member of St Michaels, where this family attends church, has posted a sign up genius of things the family needs help with. One of the biggest is getting food to them. Now that they are in the process of treatment, they cannot expose themselves to others, plus mom doesn’t drive, so they need grocery delivery. If you have time to help out in this way, please sign up by the link below. Thank you so much for the way you have loved on this sweet family!
Update October 21, 2021
Alexis will have his dialysis this week and his final blood transfusion will be on November 9. He will be admitted to the hospital November 9 and have the bone marrow transplant on November 10.
Alexis’ brother, Antonio who is the donor, will be admitted the the hospital on November 10 and will stay in the hospital a couple of days to recoup. Alexis, along with his dad, will be in UNC hospital for up to a year as Alexis recovers. Alexis’ mom will be home with the two other children and will care for Antonio once he returns home.
Dorcas Ministries will help with food each month and the Food Lion gift cards that Genesis has donated to Feeding Friends will be used to help the family supplement what they receive from Dorcas.
The entire family have been housebound as they awaited a surgery date. They will continue to be at home to keep from getting sick as that would delay Alexis’ procedure.
The family is very appreciative for all that the Cary community has done for them through this process. Genesis will continue to support this sweet family over the coming year as they work to get Alexis healthy again.
Their faith in God is tremendous, and Alexis has continued to be positive throughout all of this. Please keep them all in your prayers and thank you for the way you have shown that Genesis truly loves our neighbors!
June 17, 2021
Our Feeding Friends partners at Kingswood Elementary and Dorcas Ministries have brought to our attention a family in our community in need of assistance.
A family of six is facing a year fully quarantined following a bone marrow transplant for their 12 year old son Alexis. Antonio, Alexis’ older brother, will be the donor. The entire family including the parents Elfegeo and Maria must be quarantined with their four children for one year, a year without working. Further, it is required that they demonstrate the funds to support their family for the entire year are available prior to the surgery.
Alexis was born with Sickle Cell Anemia. His body does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout his body. Symptoms range from anemia, episodes of pain, fatigue and vision problems, swelling of hands and feet. Alexis has experienced most of these.
” The symptoms started at age 3 1/2. His whole body swelled… he turned pale. The spleen did not allow all the blood to circulate through his body and caused intense pain for which he was hospitalized for eight days.” – Maria, Alexis’ mother
At age four, doctors removed his spleen and gall bladder, followed by blood transfusions and 2 surgeries on his brain. Like a true warrior, Alexis continued to fight for his life.
There is hope for Alexis. At age 12, there is one surgery that Alexis urgently needs – a bone marrow transplant. This surgery could give Alexis a better life away from a hospital and the ability to grow up like any other child.
Despite Alexis’ medical expenses, the family have managed to stay afloat financially through the years. This past year, when Elfegio and Maria both became ill from COVID-19, they needed help.
Dorcas Ministries became aware of the family situation. Through Dorcas, a solidarity aid network has been woven. The Iglesia Fiesta Cristiana, the Iglesia San Miguel Arcangel de Cary and the Center for Hispanic Families have joined this cause.
Call to Action
Lord, help me offer compassion and mercy to all. Amen.
Genesis UMC is accepting donations to contribute to the Dorcas Ministries fund for this family. Prayerfully consider helping these neighbors in need.
Drop off or mail a check made out to GENESIS UMC with KINGSWOOD FAMILY in the memo line. We will make sure it get to the correct place. Donations through EASY TITHE should be marked for the MISSIONS FUND.
We will keep the congregation up to date on how this family is doing and any future needs we may be able to help with.
Thank you so much for the many ways you love your Cary Neighbors. God bless you!
Your Genesis Mission Team
*Photo Credit QuePasa Media Network