NYLAG Helps Haitian Earthquake Victim Receive Life-Saving Cancer Treatment
Mr. Desrosiers, a U.S. citizen, filed a petition in 2004 for his two daughters, both Haitian Nationals, to join him in the United States. In September 2010, while still waiting for her visa to become available, one of his daughters, Ollenare Desrosiers, was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. She underwent surgery in October of that year at a hospital in Haiti but required radiation therapy following the surgery. Unfortunately, the only facility offering this therapy in Port-au-Prince was destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake. Without proper treatment, Ollenare’s doctors told her that she would not survive.
One of Ollenare’s sisters who was living in Florida at the time contacted NYLAG for help. NYLAG attorneys Melissa Chua and Jin Sun Park worked diligently to file an emergency application for humanitarian parole with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Because time was of the essence in this case, the attorneys contacted NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for help. The Senator urged USCIS to expedite the NYLAG request. In February 2011, Ollenare was granted a visa to enter the U.S. and remain in the country for one year while receiving radiation therapy at NYU Langone Medical Center.
“It’s a relief that she’s here to continue her treatment in the U.S. because she has two young children, and for her to be here and have the treatment here and to be living a little bit longer is happy for her,” said Ollenare’s sister, Lorguine Desrosiers. “The treatment gives me a chance to survive,” Ollenare added. Irina Matiychenko, Director of the Immigrant Protection Unit at NYLAG stated, “Without the hard work and dedication of Jin Sun Park and Melissa Chua, Ms. Desrosiers may not have been given this chance to live.”