Social Work the answer for Riley mom in "darkest hours"

August 10, 2021
Topics: About Us

Social work blog full size 10.08.2021

Latina Wright and son Deanthony are grateful for assistance when they needed it most.

When Deanthony Rogers went out for youth football tryouts at age 7, he was sent home due to a fever. Days later, he was sent home with a fever again. His mother, Latina Wright, took him to the doctor. Tests revealed he had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It would begin the family’s nine-year journey dealing with cancer.

“There were several times that I thought I could lose my baby,” says Latina, thinking back to Deanthony’s relapses of the illness. “But I had the social work team at Riley holding me up.”

Deanthony would undergo a stem cell transplant, and additional treatment to deal with his initial bout of Hodgkin’s and two relapses. Latina found herself spending more time at Riley Hospital for Children than she was at home. Unable to work due to the burden of caring for Deanthony, she was on the brink of losing her apartment. She credits Riley social worker Beth Zaberdac for providing the emotional support and guidance to receive financial assistance available for Riley families in need.

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“I could have been homeless. Not knowing how I could get around,” says Latina. “I lost my car. They made sure if I needed a way to the hospital, they provided bus tickets. Whether it was food, a ride to the clinic, or back home from the clinic, they were there. If I needed someone to talk to, they did that.”

Deanthony is now 16 and returns to Riley for health scans every three months. He completed his last round of treatment at the beginning of 2021, and His mother says everything looks good. “We’re too blessed to be stressed,” says Latina as she recalls how the social work program has been by her side.

“They go out of their way, above and beyond, says Latina. “They would never leave me during my darkest hours. When I thought everything was not going to go right, they reassured me that it was going to be OK.”

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The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.

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