Carissa Fluke, a 15-year-old Fallbrook High School student diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia this past summer, has been sent back to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego after her body was not responsive to intensive chemotherapy treatment at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
Carissa, along with her mother, Lisa Hardinge and her brother, arrived back in San Diego Wednesday evening, November 19. Since Hardinge gave up her home and job in Fallbrook, in order to be able to travel with her daughter to St. Jude's in early September, the family has nowhere to stay now that they have returned.
At the moment, Carissa, who has been called “a beautiful, sweet girl” by family friends, is heavily medicated and is in and out of consciousness.
Carissa's family has been very supportive of her during this challenging time, but because travel, medical and personal expenses have been so high, the family is financially strapped to the point they have no place to stay.
Hardinge said she and her son are trying to get lodging at the Ronald McDonald House, but since it is full, she has been staying in the hospital room with Fluke while her son alternates between staying at the hospital or with friends.
“I'm doing the best I can, but I'm not doing well,” said Hardinge. “We are taking each day as it comes.”
The family is also struggling with how to find lodging for Carissa's older brothers, who are in the military and in the process of making a trip home to see Carissa. Her older sister, who lives in Colorado, wishes to come spend time with her as well.
Carissa's friends and relatives said they hope there are some members of the community or organizations that might be able to help. Donations can be made to an account established at Downey Savings, inside the Albertsons grocery store, in Fallbrook. Lisa Hardinge's name is on the account.