Gia’s Story

Meet Gia Ramirez Taveras, a smart, strong, sweet 16-year-old, and her mom, Esther, from Moca, the capital of the Espaillat province in the Dominican Republic.

While traveling to celebrate Holy Week in Punta Cana, Gia confided to her mother, Esther, that she had been feeling completely exhausted and her seemingly simple admission was the beginning of her challenging medical journey.

Esther took Gia to the closest medical center in Santiago, where she was immediately admitted and taken into intensive care. After five agonizing days in the hospital, without improvement, Esther coordinated with the Humano Seguros team to bring Gia to the U.S. in search of the best medical care. Gia and her mom came to CHOP, where Gia was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Type B.

Gia and her mom were now forced to face this traumatic diagnosis, without knowing anyone in the Philadelphia region and with significant language barriers.

After a month of staying at the hospital, they were finally referred to RMHSNJ. When they arrived, Gia’s first impression was that the House looked beautiful while Esther thought, “Thank God we finally have a quiet place to sleep.” Gia and Esther have already spent more than 180 days in the U.S., away from familiar surroundings and family support. Now, here at RMHSNJ, they have found a home away from home.

“Knowing cases of other people who are going through similar or even more difficult situations than ours has helped us to value what really matters – to have a family. 

And that is precisely how we consider RMHSNJ – a family full of harmony, peace, and understanding. 

Incredibly, despite being away from home and our own family for almost a year, our stay at RMHSNJ has helped us always stay positive and feel confident that, with God’s favor, we will overcome this disease.”

~Esther Taveras