San Diego
Municipal Employees Association

Catastrophic Leave Requests

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Three weeks ago I was in a five car pile-up on the 94 freeway which resulted in my car being totaled. I am 6 months pregnant and currently still dealing with pain from the impact of the accident. Thankfully my baby and I are safe! This has caused me to miss work and I have had to use up all of my saved time which was supposed to be used for my maternity leave in the coming months. Any time that is able to be donated is greatly appreciated! I am so thankful for my City of San Diego family!

Ashlee Clark


My name is Gary Young and I am an Accountant in the Office of the City Comptroller.

On November 7, 2017 I was diagnosed with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC), a rare form of an aggressive and malignant cancer that effects only one in every 500 cancer patients. The tumor was surgically removed, but a biopsy revealed that there are still more cancer cells in an area that cannot be surgically treated, therefore, making chemo and radiation treatment the only option to fight this cancer.

I have nearly exhausted all my leave during the various medical procedures so far, and I am asking for your generosity to contribute to my leave bank, so that I may fight this cancer successfully.

Thank you for your support

Gary Young


My name is Mark Chrysler, MEA member since 1991. Because unexpected personal circumstances my holiday this year is quite different. Last October I was diagnosed with a rare blood cell cancer called Multiple Myeloma; a cancer that is treatable but not curable. One of the unfortunate side effects of this type of cancer is the weakening of my vertebrae causing multiple spine compression fracturing. Over the past 7 months I have been out of the office with many doctor appointments, x-rays, and testing; which has exhausted my annual leave. Whether you decide to donate or not, may God bless you as we wrap up 2017 and embrace 2018.


Dear Esteemed Co-workers,

My name is Elizabeth Sapla and I am asking for your assistance.

I am currently 9 months pregnant and due to delivery my first baby on December 17th.
The City of San Diego allows up to 480 hours of unpaid protected leave within 1 year.
Although your job is protected and your benefits continue, the time is unpaid.

I do not have very many hours on the books, as I am fairly new with the City of San Diego and will not have sufficient hours to cover this absence.

I am asking for your assistance by donating any Annual Leave hours that you can spare, so that I may enjoy these first precious moments with my family. Any donation is greatly appreciated, by both me and my little one!

Thank You and Happy Holidays!


Elizabeth Sapla



My name is Andrea Meador and I currently work for the San Diego Police Department in Records Division/Cal-ID. I am utilizing the Family Medical Leave Program (FMLA) for myself for medical treatment I need. For the last year, I have had to take a number of days off due to my FMLA illness. As a consequence, I have been exhausting paid leave time during some pay periods causing me to go without pay on some days.

I humbly request any hours to support my FMLA time off to take care of my illness. Your gift of leave time assistance would be graciously appreciated. Anyone available to provide leave time assistance may contact your payroll specialist for the proper procedure/paperwork.

Thank you very much for considering my situation.


I have a Catastrophic Leave Bank set up because I am on FMLA to take care of my husband. He went into the hospital on July 4th with severe back pain and extreme weakness in his legs, the culmination of a year-long battle with chronic debilitating back pain. It was discovered that he had compression fractures in 5 spinal vertebrae with cancerous lesions squeezing his spinal cord. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer that eats away at the large bones in the body. He underwent 10 treatments of radiation and is now receiving 4 consecutive treatments of chemo therapy. All the while trying to rehabilitate the fractured spine. He recently had a procedure to repair the remaining fractured vertebrae so now it is a matter of regaining the lost muscle and strength. Needless to say, he requires a lot of assistance with day to day activities and managing the many medications he is taking and medical appointments.

To add to this scenario, my father is now in the hospital coping with complications from a heart valve replacement he received 4 years ago. That is really what started the depletion of my annual leave. My father had his aortic valve replaced, so I had to travel to Oregon to help take care of him and my mother who was suffering from dementia. The next year my mother fell so I rushed back up to Oregon to help with her care, sadly two weeks later she passed away. Then my husband started having severe back pain when he got his arm caught in a machine helping his friend print some t-shirts, resulting in whiplash in his back. There were many days when he could not get out of bed and and/or needed to be driven for treatments. The upside is that, had that accident not occurred, we would not have discovered the cancer this early to give him such a good prognosis.

My annual leave is completely exhausted, I am able to return to work more frequently, but my husband still requires a lot of assistance. I have worked for the Park & Recreation Department for 16 years in the Park Ranger Program. Any assistance in the way of donated leave my fellow City employees might share with me would be so greatly appreciated and an answer to fervent prayers.

Gina Washington

Senior Park Ranger

City of San Diego

Park & Recreation Department


This summer I turned 60 and had a colonoscopy which showed I had cancer. In September I had an operation to remove that part of the colon. To let it heal they had to re-arrange my digestive system, so there will be another operation, probably in the spring, to put it back in order.

The good news is they think they got everything! Yay! The bad news is I've run out of Available Leave. I plan to go back to work next week, but will be short for this pay period (submitted to payroll October 20, 2017) and part of the next (submitted to payroll November 3, 2017). I was approved for a Medical Leave Bank, so if anyone thinks they can, it would be greatly appeciated if you could donate any possible leave hours for this. The catch: to qualify, you need to have 160 Available Leave hours left after doing it!

I work as a halftime Library Assistant in the Library/Branches Department, Dept. # 310, my legal name is Geraldine Alexander, and my employee # is 70852.


To whom it may concern:

I am requesting leave donations due to the fact that I will out of the office on medical leave.

Thank you for your assistance and consideration.


Tere Avina


My name is Sue Benson and I have been employed as a Legal Secretary with the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, Civil Division since December 2005. During the past few years I have had numerous family tragedies, along with personal illnesses that have exhausted my leave. I visited my ailing parents in May and returned with pneumonia. It is challenging to be the primary resource for the family while living in a different time zone, being 2000+ miles away, and working. Most recently my Dad had a heart attack, diagnosed with dementia, moved to skilled nursing; leaving my Mom to learn how to navigate through bills, insurances, VA requirements, and technology that is all new to her. In addition to family matters, I personally expect to have cataract surgery in the near future; along with repairing an umbilical hernia diagnosed a few weeks ago. I would appreciate any donation of leave you could spare. I am extremely grateful and thankful for those who can help.


~ Sue