Social media is a very powerful tool that can be utilized to spread information, as well as for people to seek support from others, regardless of where in the world they may be. The parents of 1-year-old Callie Shaffer created a Facebook page shortly after their daughter was diagnosed with neuroblastoma back in January of this year.
Callie's parents used the Facebook page to provide updates on her condition and to seek support from their community, as they struggled with the challenges of having a child hospitalized with cancer.
According to WXIX, the young girl has been confined at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital for over 100 days, as she has endured illnesses, a major operation, and chemotherapy treatment. During the major therapy, doctors were able to remove roughly 90 percent of the tumor inside her stomach.
Her parents, Tiffany and Albree Shaffer, told reporters they were overwhelmed with the amount of love and support they received through their Facebook page. Things changed, however, when the mothers received a message taking issue with the fact that they were a same-sex couple raising a child together.
"My prayers for Callie. I was going to donate $7600.00 to her fund, but I found out her parents are lesbian. I've chosen to donate to St. Jude due to that fact. 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 a daddy, not two mommies," the message read, according to a screenshot on their Facebook page.Trisha Lamb, the girl's aunt, told WXIX she found the message to be "heartbreaking" and difficult to read through. According to Callie's aunt, her mothers were never asking for people to accept their way of life. They were asking the community for prayers and support during this challenging time.
"Why would you want to hurt someone who is already hurting?" she questioned.
The hurtful message regarding Callie and her mothers did come with a silver lining, as it has caused their story to attract a lot of attention from the media, resulting in more and more people liking their Facebook page. Some have even admitted to sending in a donation just to spite the people behind the hateful message in the comments section of the GoFundMe campaign.
Donations of varying amounts have been coming in on the campaign almost hourly, as the story starts to pick up traction via media outlets. To date, the campaign is less than $3,000 away from their initial goal to raise $20,000.
According to the details on the campaign page, Albree quit several jobs to stay at the hospital with their daughter, while Tiffany juggles working and driving to the hospital every day. In addition to paying for medical expenses, the campaign funds are being used to supplement the loss of income the family is currently dealing with.