Each year, the Austin American-Statesman launches Season for Caring, a campaign highlighting stories of families served by local nonprofit organizations. The goal is to invite readers to participate in helping wishes come true, especially around the holidays, for each family.
When Liliana’s Any Baby Can case manager nominated her for Season for Caring, she was ecstatic and hopeful.
Liliana’s two sons, nine-year-old Juan Diego and two-year-old Jesús, are both diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called spinal muscular atrophy type 2 that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. There is no cure for the disease, but medication and therapies can improve the boys’ quality of life. That’s how Any Baby Can was introduced to the family, as a provider of therapies and case management.
The largest needs for Liliana’s family were a van that could transport both of her sons’ wheelchairs, fully equipped with a wheelchair lift; renovations to the family’s home to make it more accessible for the boys; and assistance navigating legal matters regarding citizenship and the ownership of their home.
Despite great and complex needs, friends of Any Baby Can responded enthusiastically: SpawGlass donated extensive construction services for the home; Jim and Cathy Heck of MejMej provided a minivan that meets the families’ transportation needs perfectly; local law offices have offered legal services pro bono; and many individual donors gave clothing, household items and even a computer to help improve the family’s day-to-day life.
The family is still in need of dressers or drawers for medical equipment, a dining room table high enough to accommodate wheelchairs along with chairs for the parents, memory foam pillows, electric blankets, fishing poles with lures for the boys, clothing and Legos. A huge dream is a trip for the family of four to Disney World.
Thank you to the Austin American-Statesman and all of our Season for Caring donors for making this a year to remember for the Martinez De La Paz family. If you are interested in assisting with one of the family’s remaining wishes, please contact us today at 512.454.3743.