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Fundraising Campaign to Support Jose May #JoseMayneedsyourhelp

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The Migrant Workers Support (MWP) Team at the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre is starting this fundraising campaign for our client, Jose Gilberto May Cauich. Jose is a 53-year-old seasonal farm worker from Mexico, who has been recently diagnosed with End of Stage Heart Failure and Chronic Chagas disease. Consequently, he is in urgent need of a heart transplant which will considerably improve his chances of survival. The funds that we raise from this campaign will be used to cover Jose’s medical expenses, including his post-heart transplant care, and to support his family back home who depends on him, namely his widowed mother, wife and two young children aged 13 and 11.

Jose's Story

Jose started working as a farm worker at the young age of 12 in order to support his family in the small town of Santa Cruz, located in the Municipality of Calkini (in the State of Campeche) in Mexico. He inherited his knowledge of the land from his Maya ancestors and his father. As Jose grew older, he heard about the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) – a farm work program that would allow him to work in Canada. Jose worked hard to teach himself Spanish in the hopes of getting selected, which he eventually did in 2004. That year, he left his home for the first time and flew thousands of miles to Canada so that he could improve the quality of life for his family in Mexico. Since then and for more than 19 years, Jose has been coming to Canada year after year for up to 8 months at a time to work as a seasonal farm worker.

Unfortunately, due to Jose’s recent diagnosis, he was forced to stop working in April. Since Jose stopped working, things have become very difficult for his family as they depend on his income and face many challenges of their own. His 13-year-old son suffers from Rickets (a disease of the bones) and has to attend therapy three times a week and needs medication regularly. His wife’s health is deteriorating due to diabetes. Therefore, Jose’s elderly mother and his 11-year-old daughter have had to manage the day-to-day affairs of the family. In order to make ends meet, the family tends to a small piece of land in the backyard of their home.

It is a battle of survival every day for the May family.

  • Jose is a simple, humble, and kind man, who is facing this health challenge with a positive attitude. However, he is worried about his family and the challenges they are facing back home. Jose has dedicated his life to ensuring Canadian families have food on their tables, and it is now our turn as a community to ensure Jose and his family receive the support they need. Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, Quest Community Health Centre, Niagara Community Legal Clinic and Jose’s employer are all working together tirelessly to assist Jose with his day-to-day needs such as coordinating medical care, taking him to his medical appointments, providing interpretation, and ensuring he is able to access any and all financial benefits that may be available to him. However, despite these efforts, Jose still needs your help.
  • Jose has contributed significantly to the Canadian economy. As a seasonal farm worker, he is entitled to short-term disability benefits for up to 12 weeks, Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits, Canada Pension Plan and the corresponding child benefits. The only benefits he can receive once in Mexico will be limited medical coverage of up to $10,000 and for only 150 days – not enough to cover the cost of a heart transplant.‍
  • It is important to note that even if he receives these benefits, the amount will be much lower than what an average Canadian worker receives. This is due to the fact that migrant seasonal farm workers earn minimum wage and can only work seasonally. Unfortunately, this income along with the limited medical coverage he will receive in Mexico will not be enough to cover the cost of his heart transplant or cover the cost of his post-transplant recovery, let alone support his family who relies on the income he makes on the program.
  • Jose's story is one of resilience and determination. As a dedicated farm worker, he has contributed to the local community for years. Now, in his time of need, we are rallying together to offer him the support he deserves. We kindly invite you to be a part of our fundraising campaign to support Jose's heart transplant. Your generous donation will not only help him receive the medical care he urgently needs but will also alleviate the burden on his family, who are facing an uncertain future. Your contribution, regardless of its size, will play a vital role in turning this challenging situation into a story of triumph and resilience.

His treatment is expensive and the road to recovery is long. He needs all the help he can get. Our aim is to collect $150,000 to help Jose May!

Any donation helps, no matter how small! Every dollar counts, and your act of kindness will be deeply appreciated. Thank you! 

Please donate by e-transfer at josegilertomaycauich@gmail.com

Account Number: 108921483587


*The donated money will be directly deposited into Jose's bank account*

                                                                                            Thank you! 

Our Mission

We celebrate and promote cultural, social and economic inclusion and well-being of all immigrants and newcomers.

Our Vision

We are a gateway to equitable, respectful and welcoming communities for immigrants and newcomers in Niagara.

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