to help ailing local boy set for Saturday
William Albiniano, 8, needs expensive kidney treatments and
medication his family cannot afford without insurance.
© 2006 Debra Reid/Daily Sparks Tribune
up your garage and help a struggling local family at the same time.
On this Saturday, Sept. 9, there is a yard-sale fundraiser for 8-year-old
terminally ill William Albiniano, whose family lives in the North
William, a third grader at Sierra Nevada Academy in Stead, has a terminal
condition called MPGN a condition in which his white blood cells
are attacking his internal organs. It is a painful condition, and he
needs expensive monthly treatments and daily medications to slow the
effects and dull the pain.
The Albiniano family had been receiving medical insurance aid from the
Nevada Check-Up Program, but was cut off in April. The family is appealing
For the past several months, the family has been paying for William's
medications, but falling behind on their house payments and utility
William is supposed to go back to UC Davis Medical Center for regular
follow-up and treatments in early October. In their current situation,
the family will not be able to pay for that doctor's appointment.
"We're still falling behind with bills and we're appealing the
denial of Nevada Check-Up for the second time," said Lisa Albiniano,
William's mother. "But I'm not giving up."
When the family was dropped from the Nevada Checkup program, 
they fell behind on house payments, medical and utility bills, she said.
Concerned community members and local business owners stepped in, offering
to sponsor spare change collection jars, fundraising events and charity
bank accounts. Lisa said her family is very grateful for the community's
financial support, which has gone towards making small payments against
her current backlog of bills.
"I'm fighting for my son's life," Albiniano said. "I'm
getting really distressed. Now, I'm afraid that the more I talk about
it, they (Nevada Check-Up) will use that against me. I'm in a catch-22."
She said she worries that the very fundraisers that assisted the family
pay some of their overdue bills will be counted with her regular working
income and disqualify the family from the medical aid program
members have been generous, she said, but now donations have started
to drop off, leaving the family with unpaid bills and less chance of
receiving the medical aid from Nevada Check-Up. The program was designed
to help low-income families so they would not be forced to choose between
paying for prescriptions and basic needs.
said she is frustrated because her family faces this exact dire situation,
yet has faced tremendous difficulty and paperwork in trying to apply
for the program.
"We just want to save our son," Albiniano said.
job as a parent is to protect your children. Thats what I'm trying
to do. And I can't even do that."
Even though medical journals point to the fact that MPGB patients like
William might not have many years to live, supportive community members
like Dee Castello are fighting to raise money so that he can
be more comfortable, play like the other kids and spend whatever precious
time he has left with his family.
"Dee is a wonderful person and I want to thank her, along with
all of the local businesses that are trying to help," Albiniano
A yard sale fundraiser has been scheduled on Sept. 9 at Dee's Used Furniture
in Sun Valley. Anyone wishing to contribute items may call (775) 771-4951
or (775) 303-0606.
1. Nevada Checkup's recent publicity touting its
success and availability: "Nevada parents whose children are uninsured
shouldn't have to agonize over choosing between taking their child to
the doctor or putting food on the table."
KIDS: Public health care coverage available
Low-income families eligible for Medicaid, state plan
Vegas Review-Journal 8-10-2006
UPDATE 9-3-2006: DEAR
ABBY GETS INTO THE ACT AND NOT IN A GOOD WAY
You may view Joe Hart's August 16 story on William by going
to KRNV.com and clicking on Special
Features at the left hand side of the page. Once there, look for
the headline entitled "HART
OF THE MATTER: Reno Family of Child with Life Threatening Disease Isn't
Getting Financial Help...Their son is battling a life threatening
illness. They can barely afford his monthly medication and they've now
fallen behind on their house payments. To top it all off, they've been
rejected by a state program designed to help people in their situation.
News 4's Joe Hart focuses on a family that refuses to give
The director of Nevada Checkup
refused to be interviewed for Mr. Hart's story. I spoke with him after
Lisa Albiniano gave him written permission to do so, as she did for
Mr. Hart. Charles Duarte said his office is awaiting (what else?)
Keep in mind
that older web browsers will probably not work to get you to the video
from the home page. You must also have Microsoft Windows Media Player
in your system. It's available for both Windows and MAC and probably
other systems at the BillGatesLand website, http://www.microsoft.com
leastways I hope so.
Hart will do a followup on Wednesday, Sept. 13, probably on the station's
6:00 p.m. newscast. From what he has gleaned from Nevada Checkup so
far, it appears that Mrs. Albiniano's worst fears noted above are being
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