Who/what: Mia Serrian of Scranton usually is the one providing the help. For the past 11 years, Serrian has worked as a certified nursing assistant in a local nursing home and also helps her elderly mother. In April, however, she ended up on the receiving end of medical care when she tested positive for COVID-19 on the same day she learned she had acute myeloid leukemia.
Why: Doctors sent Serrian to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville upon her diagnosis, and since then she has either been hospitalized for months at a time or had to journey from Scranton to there for treatment. Out of work since spring, Serrian struggles to pay her medical co-pays and other bills as well as for medication, transportation and related expenses plus her day-to-day financial needs. Free travel services that had been available have stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic, she said. Additionally, Serrian will need a bone marrow transplant from her sister, and both will have to stay close to the hospital after the procedure because of a higher risk of a condition known as “graft versus host disease.”
How: A member of Peckville Assembly of God, Serrian said she has found faith and strength during this trying time, and she welcomes prayers offered for her. Any donations to help her cover her various expenses “would literally mean everything,” she said, and people can contribute through a GoFundMe page, “Mia Needs Our Help,” or mail donations to her at 330 Railroad Ave., Scranton, PA 18505.
In her own words: “(Help) would mean me being able to pay for medical bills, premiums, copays, transportation (and) lodging before, during and after recovery. I would also like to ask that people consider being a bone marrow donor through BeTheMatch.com or simply donate blood. The only match my transplant team was able to find was through my sister, who is only a half match, and we’re hoping she meets all the criteria.”
Caitlin Heaney West is the content editor for Access NEPA and oversees the Early Access blog in addition to working as a copy editor and staff writer for The Times-Tribune. An award-winning journalist, she is a summa cum laude graduate of Shippensburg University and also earned a master’s degree from Marywood University. Caitlin joined the Times-Shamrock family in 2009 and lives in Scranton. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5107; or @cheaneywest