CINCINNATI, OHIO — After an online fundraiser was put up to help with the rising costs of their daughter’s cancer treatment, a lesbian couple says they received a message from someone saying they’ll withhold their donation after finding out about the parents’ lifestyle.
After their 18-month-old daughter Callie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, Tiffany and Albree Shaffer soon found out that her condition was stage-4 and she would need 18 months of chemotherapy, followed by surgery.
“She will need 18 months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, she will need a bone marrow transplant, and also will need future surgery to remove the tumor once it shrinks,” a relative wrote on their GoFundMe page. “What I am asking is for you to help me take the financial burden off of these wonderful people.”
As NBC News reports, Albree had to quit her three jobs to be by Callie’s side full time while Tiffany continued to work and care for their other child, who is autistic.
“We would’ve probably had to move without the money from the GoFundMe because of the rent, and we also have two car payments,” Albree said. “It would have been so stressful to move right now.”
While the support the couple received was overwhelmingly, one person took an opportunity to voice her displeasure with the couple’s lifestyle, even going out of her way to announce that she would rescind her donation because she found out Callie had lesbian parents.
In a screenshot of the message posted to Facebook, the woman, identified as Bren Marie, said that she planned to donate $7,600 but had since changed her mind.
“My prayers for Callie. I was going to donate $7600.00 to her but I found out her parents are lesbian. I’ve chosen to donate to St. Jude due to that fact,” the message read. “Sorry. I’ll still pray for her though but maybe it’s God’s way of getting your attention that she needs a mommy and daddy, not 2 mommy’s (sic).”
Since NBC News reported the family’s story, Bren Marie has apparently deleted her Facebook profile.
“We tried not to be upset, but it was hard,” Albree said. “I couldn’t believe she reached out to us to tell us that directly. She could have just not donated and ignored the page.”
While the hateful message was a downer, the attention the story received has helped greatly with the family’s fundraising efforts. As of this writing, the GoFundMe as reached almost $83,000 of its $100,000 goal.
Featured image via the Shaffer family