Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Parent to Parent: Samantha's Purpose
Parents of kids with disabilities know how expensive it is to pay for all the different therapies their kids might need. Even if they have insurance, it seems it's never enough. But one South Florida mother is trying to change all that with inspiration from her own disabled daughter. 7's Lynn Martinez has more in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- One look at that smile, and there's no doubt that 4-year-old Samantha Garcia is special.
Michelle Coffey-Garcia, Samantha's mom: "Samantha's my angel."
Samantha was born premature and complications led to cerebral palsy.
Michelle Coffey-Garcia: "She was 12 weeks premature. She weighed two pounds two ounces."
Since she was born, Samantha's family has worked hard to give her the therapy and equipment she needs, but the overall cost is shocking: an average of $35,000 to $40,000 a year.
The Garcias' struggle inspired them to reach out to other parents of disabled kids. That's how Samantha's Purpose was born.
Michelle Coffey-Garcia: "We started Samantha's Purpose to help families like us, families who are not entitled to government assistance, and what we do is raise funds to help the parents pay for therapy for their children."
Samantha's purpose is based in South Miami and began giving out grants for therapy in July.
Osiris Ballard, Executive Director: "They can apply on line. The grant application is a very friendly, user-friendly process."
Parents can apply if their child fits the following criteria:
-They are medically diagnosed with a neuromotor disability.
-If they're between the ages of 3 and 18.
-Live in Miami-Dade.
-Are not receiving government assistance.
As Samantha's Purpose focuses on fund raising for 2010, Samantha continues to face her own challenges, but her mom no longer asks "why" this happened. The family believes Samantha was born to inspire them to a greater purpose.
Michelle Coffey-Garcia: "I tell everybody, 20 years from now, it'll be a national organization and a household name. That's my goal for my daughter."
The family says that Samantha herself does not receive funds from the organization.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
If you'd like more information on how to donate or apply for a grant: