PHOENIX — The pandemic and the resulting hit to the economy have made 2020 an impossible year for people all over the world, and Phoenix is no different.
Many businesses have completely shut down, and that has cost millions of jobs. There is also another category of pandemic job loss: people who can’t physically go to their jobs for fear of bringing the virus home to immunocompromised family members.
That specific situation is the one that has made life so difficult for Erica Camacho, a North Phoenix mother of three.
Erica’s three-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer when he was ten months old. Much of baby Jay’s life has been spent at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. His cancer is in remission, but his treatments have left his immune system compromised, and he’s at risk for serious illness from the virus.
Despite having three kids to clothe and feed, Erica has had to stop working.
“All our best interest is for the baby and his health,” Erica said. “I couldn’t risk bringing anything back to him or my other children.”
Erica cares for Jay and his two pre-teen siblings Jasmine and Carlos with help from her mother Maria.
“We get up, separate. She goes to his room/her room. They do classes,” Maria says, describing a day in their lives. “I do all the calls from the zoom and the counselors and all that with them. She makes the breakfast, the lunch, and the dinner, goes to the doctors. It’s just an every day.”
Maria nominated Erica, fearing that spending most of the year with no paycheck, Christmas would be lean or nonexistent for the kids.
The Miracle Makers heard Maria’s request and brought a Christmas surprise and some hope to the family.
Team 12, Mountain America Credit Union, Basha’s, and The Mint Dispensary teamed up to make sure Erica was able to make Christmas great this year with gifts and a good meal.