By Gwen Aviles
A lesbian couple says they received a homophobic message after a relative created an online fundraiser to cover their daughter's cancer costs mitigate treatments.
Tiffany and Albree Shaffer of Cincinnati were informed on New Year's Day that their 18-month-old daughter Callie had been diagnosed with advanced neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that develops from immature neurons. One week later, the couple was informed that Callie was in the fourth stage and needed 1
"Callie has acted very hard," said Albree Shaffer, 26, to NBC News on Tuesday. "We take it day after day."
Shortly after the heartbreaking news was shared with their families, Tiffany Shafer's sister Lorrie Teate launched an online fundraiser to raise money for Callie's medical bills.
"She will need 18 months of chemotherapy and radiation, she will need a bone marrow transplant, and in the future she needs surgery to remove the tumor as soon as it shrinks," Teate wrote on a GoFundMe page. "I ask you to help me financially relieve these wonderful people."
After the child's diagnosis, Albree Shaffer said she would have to stop three jobs so she could stay at Callie's side at Cincinnati's Children's Hospital, while Tiffany Shaffer works and takes care of her other child, Tyler, who has reached the age of 7 and is on the autism spectrum.
"We would probably have to move from GoFundMe without the money, and we also have two car payments," said Albree Shaffer. "It would have been so stressful to move immediately."
While women were equally supported by family, friends, and strangers, they said that not everyone responded generously to their situation. The couple said that a woman named Bren Marie sent them a homophobic Facebook message after seeing their donation page.
"My prayers for Callie. I wanted to give her $ 7600.00, but I found out that her parents are lesbian. That's why I chose St. Jude, "said a screenshot of the message shared by Tiffany Shaffer on a public Facebook post.
Bren Marie, who apparently changed her name on the site or deleted her Facebook account since the incident, adding, "I'm sorry, I still pray for her, but maybe it's God's way to pay attention to you get that she needs a mom and a dad, not two moms. "
Albree Shaffer said she and Tiffany Shaffer were "shocked and disgusted" by the comment, but did not respond to the offensive message.
"We tried not to be upset It was tough," said Albree Shaffer. "I could not believe that she spoke to us directly to tell us. She just could not have donated the site and ignored it.
While the commentary for the couple was a reminder that homophobia still exists, they said it was also a reminder of the kindness of strangers and allies, many of whom were driven. Donate after you leave Bren Marie's comment heard.
"My wife and I donate a bit to replace the undelivered donation," wrote Linda and Carol Davis-Wolther on the GoFundMe page. "We two lesbians had several children and know the discrimination that still exists. We will also pray for Callie and her mothers.
Another donor, Duane Smith, said that the commentary by Bren Marie does not reflect the beliefs of all religious individuals. "I donated because I am a Christian and believe that God loves us all," he wrote.
Albree Shaffer said she and Tiffany Shaffer are grateful for the love, support and prayers as Callie continues her fight.
It was overwhelming in a good way. If this results in a lesson, we must continue to work for our children, "said Albree Shaffer. "It's all about Callie."
The donation site commissioned by Shaffers had collected nearly $ 80,000 on Wednesday morning.
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