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Supporting One Another During Tough Times

2011 was a year of some ups and downs for us all. For two special families, the challenges were immense but so was the love and support they received from their family and friends.

MEA member Sarah Johnston and her husband Frank were eagerly expecting the arrival of their first baby when Frank (32 years old) had a heart attack. After being resuscitated, he was hospitalized and placed in an induced coma.

After three failed attempts to get him out of sedation, the doctors were finally able to safely bring him out of his induced coma. Through what Sarah can only call a miracle, Frank is alive today. Sarah also had an unscheduled C-section and she and Frank are now the proud parents of their beautiful daughter, Sienna. The end of 2011 was filled with a great deal of emotional, physical and financial obstacles for Sarah and her family to overcome.

The couple’s family and friends have created a website which provides more information about their experience and ways that you might be able to help:

http://sites.google.com/site/ 4frankandfamily/

MEA member Jennifer Garcia is a single mom and the eldest in her family. Regrettably, her mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 cervical, ovarian, uterine and breast cancer which has spread to her lungs, liver and lymph nodes. As her primary caregiver, Jennifer has exhausted all of her City leave time and has taken leave without pay when she has to take her mother to her numerous treatments and doctor appointments. This has taken a financial toll on Jennifer and her family and she now has added a second part-time job to help make ends meet.

After speaking to Jennifer just once, you are taken aback by what a strong, courageous and positive person she is. When asked if MEA could help during these tumultuous times, she wanted nothing for herself and only spoke about the needs of her son and family.

Although this year will continue to be filled with a great deal of challenges for Jennifer and her family, they are so grateful to have one another and the support they have received from her family and friends.

Any contributions to Jennifer’s catastrophic leave bank would be greatly appreciated. Please contact your payroll specialist for information of how to donate.

Special thanks to Ann Smith and the law firm Tosdal, Smith, Steiner & Wax, California Bank & Trust, San Diego Gas & Electric and the Rancho Bernardo Community Council for their generous donations which helped fund the costs of this event!