Raising kids is hard enough. When one becomes ill with a disease like cancer, it becomes even harder to maintain the household. Today we help a family in that situation.Dear Opie's Angels,

Steve and Jessie are the greatest people. These past 3 years have been very tough for them - though they would never tell you that. They have four kids and their second to the oldest girl, Ava, was diagnosed with Leukemia two years ago. Then they found out she has a kidney disease on top of that. This little girl has been such a fighter. It just seems that every Christmas she turns sick again.

About a week ago, Ava was transported to Children's for a high fever and her blood counts were not where they should be. So she spent a few more nights in the hospital hoping to get better. It seems like every Christmas something happens that brings them grief. I just want to see them have a huge smile on their face this Christmas.

Thank you for reading this and thank you for everything you do,
Joellen

Dear Joellen,

Having a sick child is never easy on the family. Someone is always with the child and the other kids sometimes can feel neglected when the attention is put solely on the sick child. Add onto that the financial burden and always "expecting" something to happen during what should be some of the happiest moments of the year.

We are so sorry that Ava is going through this illness and hopefully we can bring a smile to her face this year and give the family some smiles as well. We would like to get Ava something special, so we are giving $50 just to bring a smile to her face. For the other children in the family, we would like to give $150 to get some toys and clothes for them so they can enjoy Christmas. Plus, we want to make sure they have a great meal so we're throwing in another $200 for groceries.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Ava during her journey. We thank you for nominating Steve and Jessie and wish all of you a Merry Christmas!

Opie's Angels