unites to help terminally ill boy
12-10-2006: Click here or scroll down for the latest
area) resident William Albiniano, age 8, loves firetrucks and
wants to be a fireman one day. Unfortunately, medical statistics show
that the second-grader who attends Sierra Nevada Academy in Stead probably
wont reach his teenage years. William has a terminal condition
called MPGN, a condition in which his white blood cells are attacking
his internal organs.
Photo copyright © 2006 Debra Reid/Daily Sparks Tribune
William Albiniano, 8, needs expensive kidney treatments and
medication his family cannot afford without insurance.
ran out of his medication two weeks ago," said his mother
William needs several
medications to slow this process and help ease his pain, including an
expensive drug normally used on patients who have had an organ transplant.
He also needs to travel to UC Davis in California for treatment each
And because the drug he takes is not FDA-approved to treat the MPGN
yet, the drug manufacturer cant give the boy this medicine for
free, like it would be able to do for a low-income transplant patient.
William recently was dropped from his insurance, Nevada Check-Up, and
parents Lisa and Tony dont have the money to pay for this life-saving
medication or trips for treatment. The couple earns just over the maximum
household income to qualify for the program, although the decision is
being appealed. The familys adjusted income was not considered,
Lisa said, such as the unpaid time she must take off of work to drive
her son to appointments in California, or Tonys unconventional
"Right now, it comes down to paying the mortgage or getting the
medicine," Lisa said.
Fortunately, some community members have stepped up to raise money for
the family, such as Dee Castello, owner of Dees Used Furniture
in Sun Valley.
Last Christmas, Castello crafted and raffled off a gingerbread firehouse
to raise money for the family.
Castello is one of several local business owners attempting to raise
funds to ease the familys financial burden of unpaid medical bills
and lack of funds for the needed medications.
Photo copyright © 2006 Debra Reid/Daily Sparks Tribune
TO FILL AN OCEAN WITH AN EYEDROPPER Barbara Albiniano
and Dee Castello, owner of Dee's Used Furniture in Sun Valley,
are trying to collect funds for the medical treatments needed
by Albiniano's grandson William.
Don't forget the yard sale-style
fundraiser this Saturday, Sept. 9, at Dee's Used Furniture.
Anyone wishing to contribute items may call (775) 771-4951 or
(775) 303-0606. Raffle tickets are now on sale both at Dee's
and at the UPS Store at Northtowne (US 395 at North McCarran
loop). You may make donations to the William Albiniano Medical
Fund at any branch of Wells Fargo Bank.
NOTE: The yard sale item is now ancient history, but I'm leaving
it posted to illustrate the depths of desperation to which our
citizens are reduced in an intentionally dysfunctional health
care system driven by cash rather than compassion.)
"Dee is a
wonderful person and I want to thank her, along with all of the local
businesses that are trying to help," Lisa said. "And I want
to say thankyou to my mother and sister for helping us."
The Reno Fire Department has brightened Williams days by giving
him a real firefighters outfit, tailored to his size, and Make-A-Wish
has also contributed.
Even though medical journals point to the fact that MPGB patients like
William might not have many years to live, supportive community members
like Castello are fighting to raise money so that he can be more comfortable,
be able to play like the other kids, and spend whatever precious time
he has left with his family.
Williams mother said his positive attitude has lifted up the spirits
of the whole family, including his two sisters in high school.
"He is such a trooper," she said.
he spends a week in the hospital and is loaded with fluids and is ill,
he is still the happiest little guy.
has a better state of mind than we do, and it helps us stay stronger.
"Now the most
pressing need is funds for his four medications, including one that
costs more than $1,100.
"Im trying to work a full-time job, take care of him and
two teenage daughters, pay medical bills and try to keep the power on.
do you do? I know how people can become homeless."
list of donation locations
2006 RAFFLE DRAWING
on Dec. 23, 2006, for a 2006 Kawasaki Eliminator
125, $5.00 per ticket courtesy of Kawasaki of Reno, 2315
Market Street, west of US395 between Vassar and Mill streets.
OCTOBER 8, 2006
the rock back up the hill all over again
KRNV TV-4's Joe Hart reports a breakthrough
Sept. 28 update: Hope
extinguished anew. Damn. More
State agency still stonewalling; Hart rides again
to help ailing local boy (Daily Sparks Tribune page 1)
30, 2006 KRNV TV-4's Joe Hart did a hard-hitting followup
report on his August 16 story this evening.
(It is now available at KRNV.com.
Click on "Special Features" on the left side of
the page frame and scroll down to "Hart of the Matter."
(You must have a newly updated web browser. Older versions
don't work on Channel 4's super-tricked out site.
More techie details here.)
Mr. Hart interviewed Nevada Checkup head Charles
Duarte. Despite having a complete set of release forms
signed by Lisa Albiniano, Duarte refused to discuss why William
Albiniano's health insurance is stil lin limbo. Several weeks
ago, when the editor of this website (who was likewise cleared
by Mrs. Albiniano) talked to Duarte, he said the insurance
program was waiting for more paperwork. Mrs. Albiniano said
tonight that the only thing more she could possibly provide
them is a Xerox of her dog.
just two days before Hart's report aired, the
nationally-syndicated Dear Abby column published
a PR plant over the signature of the head of the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation, which supports Nevada Checkup. The press
release talked about all the kids who should apply for this
wondrous help. Alas, in Nevada, any insurer, public or private,
treats claimants like horse thieves. Dammem.
DEAR ABBY: Children need more than paper,
pencils and a lunch box to be prepared for this school
year. They also need health care coverage. Children
who have health insurance are better prepared to learn
in school and better equipped to succeed in life.
Unfortunately, nearly 3.3 million children in the United
States are uninsured. That means one out of every 10
kids might not receive the medical care they need, when
they need it.
story continues below
The good news is most uninsured children are eligible
for low-cost or free health care coverage through Medicaid
or the State Children's Health Insurance Program. These
programs exist in every state and the District of Columbia
and cover doctor's visits and prescriptions, but many
parents may not believe their kids are eligible. Because
these parents are working, they may think they earn
too much money to qualify.
Anyone who cares about an uninsured child that
includes grandparents, teachers, day care providers,
ministers and others can do his part by telling
parents about these programs and urging them to get
Abby, I know you share my concern that these children
be allowed to start the school year off right -- with
good health and access to health care. Thank you for
helping us connect children with the services they need.
RISA LAVIZZO-MOUREY, M.D., PRESIDENT AND CEO,
ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION
DEAR DR. LAVIZZO-MOUREY: You're welcome. I'm pleased
to help you spread the word about this important program
for low-income families. With children heading back
to school, your letter is a timely one.
Readers, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsors
a program nationwide called Covering Kids and Families,
and invites parents of uninsured children to call (toll-free)
(877) 543-7669 ((877) KIDS-NOW) to find out if your
children are eligible. The need is great, so please
don't wait to place that call.
Appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal
Copyright © 2006 Universal Press Syndicate
It reminds one
of what President Harry Truman said about banks: "The
only time they'll lend you money is if you can prove to them
that you don't need it."
Abby and Mr.
Lavizzo-Mourey know about this. How about a few thousand
readers? Let me know what response you get. BARBWIRE
AUGUST 27, 2006
Fundraiser provides breathing room, still no insurance
the link, above: The Las Vegas Review-Journal runs
a puff piece on the wondrousness of the Nevada Checkup program
which dropped William Albiniano and now stonewalls inquiries
as to why he cannot be reinstated.
AUGUST 13, 2006
TV-4 story will likely air August 16
You may view Joe Hart's August 16 story on William
by going to KRNV.com and
clicking on Special Features at the left hand side
of the page. Once there, look for the headline entitled "HART
OF THE MATTER: Reno Family of Child with Life Threatening
Disease Isn't Getting Financial Help...Their son is
battling a life threatening illness. They can barely afford
his monthly medication and they've now fallen behind on their
house payments. To top it all off, they've been rejected by
a state program designed to help people in their situation.
News 4's Joe Hart focuses on a family that refuses
to give up...."
The director of
Nevada Checkup refused to be interviewed for Mr. Hart's story.
I spoke with him after Lisa Albiniano gave him written permission
to do so, as she did for Mr. Hart. Charles Duarte said
his office is awaiting (what else?) more paperwork.
in mind that older web browsers will probably not work to
get you to the video from the home page. You must also have
Microsoft Windows Media Player in your system. It's available
for both Windows and MAC and probably other systems at the
BillGatesLand website, http://www.microsoft.com
leastways I hope so.
AUGUST 6, 2006
rescheduled to Sept. 9, 2006
JULY 30, 2006
Albiniano ordered to emergency room by doctors
JULY 23, 2006
Yard sale fundraiser scheduled at Dee's in Sun Valley on August
12. Please help.
JUNE 18, 2006
now two months behind on house payments to pay for medicine.
Donations still very, very slow.
MAY 21, 2006
slow, family cancels UC Davis doctor appointment
MAY 14, 2006
foregoes mortgage payment to buy $1,400 prescription. Donations
MAY 8, 2006
A friend has just started a donation account for William
at Wells Fargo Bank. Mr. and Mrs. Albiniano have foregone
this month's mortgage payment in order to buy $1,400 in medication
for their son. Your help will be sincerely appreciated. Let
me know what you're doing and I'll help get the word out.
May 7, 2006: Against the odds
GAZETTE-JOURNAL 12-25-2004 William
Albiniano dreams of becoming a firefighter
The following local
businesses have set out donation jars
or charitable accounts for the family
o Dees Used
Furniture, 5115 Sun Valley Blvd. 673-3312
o Kawasaki of Reno, 2315 Market Street west of US395 between
Vassar and Mill streets.
on Dec. 23, 2006, for a 2006 Kawasaki Eliminator 125, $5.00
o Bank of America account phased out.
Fargo Bank, William Albiniano Medical Fund, any branch, still
o UPS Store, 2875 Northtowne Lane
o Reno Rock & Feed, 7780 North Virginia St.
o Panda House, talk to Shirley, 5055 Sun Valley Blvd.
o Martial Arts Legacy, Spanish Springs, 425-5400
o BiRite Market, 5690 Sun Valley Dr.
© 2006 Daily Sparks Tribune
Used by permission.
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