Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Through the magic of Facebook I reconnected with a friend of mine from elementary school, Jessica.  We had lived on the same street, we were in the same class and we played on the playground together.  Fast forward to high school and we had both moved from Baltimore to Harford County.  We were going to high schools just a few miles apart and were frequenting the same places.  Facebook allowed me to keep in touch with her and see everything going on in her life.

The following is the story of Jessica, AJ and their son Dominick.  They've been through so much and on October 12th, we will be holding a Quarter Auction to benefit them and their ever increasing medical bills.  Read on to learn more:

The Pumilia Family’s Story

Anthony (AJ) Pumilia served as a Firefighter in Washington, DC at Engine 27 for 5 years. He married his wife, Jessica, on October 16th 2010 and their son, Dominick, was born in June of 2011. Just one month later at age 28, AJ was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of brain tumor on the Pineal gland. AJ underwent a biopsy of the tumor that August and the tumor was said to be stable. Three months later, AJ started to experience extreme headaches along with other symptoms. After another MRI, they found the tumor had tripled in size and immediate surgery was needed. 

On December 14th 2011, AJ walked into the hospital for surgery not knowing his whole life was about to change. The surgery had multiple complications, infections, and additional surgeries that only made his fight harder. AJ was comatose and his family started planning for the worst, as the doctors gave little hope.

AJ spent 3 months in Johns Hopkins Neuro Critical Care Unit under 24 hour watch. He was then transferred to Bayview Medical Center where he spent another 9 months. In September of 2012, AJ was lucky enough to come home to live with his wife and 15 month old son.
During this time Jessica had to leave her job to stay home and take care of her husband and young son.  While most people would be stressed with these circumstances, Jessica takes every day one by one and always has a smile on her face.  With very limited income and trouble with insurance, medical bills started to pile up, some on a payment plan and others already at collections. Jessica has been forced to pay for necessities for her family first and worry about the bills second.

AJ must continue therapy and follow up appointments to stay alive but the bills are overwhelming. AJ, as well as his family, have been dropped from the Fire Department insurance leaving Jessica paying over $12,000 a year in insurance alone. This does not include medically related expenses that insurance will not cover.

Currently, AJ is doing well. He has been accepted into the Physical and Occupational Therapy program at Johns Hopkins (where he is 3-4 days a week) and Speech therapy in Bel Air. AJ continues to have multiple follow up appointments with all of his doctors and he has been given a good report.

*AJ has lived longer than all of the other 6 people with this diagnosis.  Please help Jessica continue to be the support and positive influence AJ needs to continue living. We appreciate every donation. 

At this time we are accepting any and all donations to help us with our Quarter Auction efforts.  If you work for a restaurant or local business or if you have your own enterprise, please give it some thought and see if you have a product or service you could auction off.  It will be a great way to get your name and your product out into the community and it's all for a great cause!

Please contact me at if you have questions or want to arrange a donation!

No comments:

Post a Comment