San Diego

Holiday Help For Family Battling Cancer and Facing Prospect of Losing Their Home

After hearing about the Graziano’s story, local restaurant employees decided to forego their Christmas party and donate $30,000 to the family

Just days before Christmas, one family is getting a lot of help as they face almost unimaginable challenges.

For many, it's the most wonderful time of the year. but for the Graziano family this Christmas season has proven to be the most difficult.

“We have hope and that's the way that we face this,” Joey Graziao said. “But there's times that we need to look at the realistic side of it all and those are the harder times.”

Hard is putting it mildly.

Their 6-year old son Kai is in remission after undergoing treatment for pediatric neuroblastoma cancer.

On the heels of the family's fight for their son's life, his father, 38-year old Joey was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer in May.

Now, Joey's wife Maggie has her own hospital bed at UCSD Thornton, beginning her fight against Stage 4 colon cancer she was diagnosed with in November.

The couple also has a 19-month old son named Everett.

They are now facing the possibility of losing their home because of mounting medical expenses.

But thankfully this holiday season, there are so many who care.

"If you look at the Christmas spirit, it's just so much more important to take care of someone in need as opposed to enjoying a Christmas party,” Sean Merzbacher said. He’s the general manager of Donovan’s Steak and Chop House in La Jolla and San Diego.

After hearing about the Graziano’s story, restaurant employees decided to forego their Christmas party and donate $30,000 to the family as they fight cancer, paying bills and keeping their home.

“$30,000 dollars to keep a roof over a family's head? Like I said, it was a no brainer for us,” Merzbacher said.

He met with the family for the first time at the hospital and shared the happy news. Maggie and Joey were overwhelmed with emotions.

“I’m kind of overwhelmed,” Maggie said as she lay in her hospital room. “That's very unexpected. That's a very large amount of donation to help us."

“For all of the employees to get together and make a decision like that really means a lot to us and takes some of the pressure off,” Joey said through tears.

Donovan’s is also helping to raise more money for the family and encouraging people and businesses to donate.

The generous gift from Donovan's is only the most recent donation that’s sure to help make this difficult season all the more wonderful for the Graziano family.

If you’d like to help out the family, you can donate here

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