I'm trying to raise money for Jaz’s (my wife) parents and brother. They are currently in Aibonito, Puerto Rico and are knee deep in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. There are many people on the island in need right now but because of Macho's fragile health I believe getting him to a safe and stable environment is of extreme importance.
We still haven't talked to Jaz's family since the hurricane but we heard from a cousin that they are Ok for the time being. They had gone to a relative’s house during the storm and are currently staying in her grandma’s old house.
Now that we know that they are safe our main concerns are first for Macho’s health, and secondly for their house.
For those of you who don't know my brother-in-law Macho, he’s a pretty cool cat. He's 31, has a cool mustache, is a huge Red Sox fan, and is a chick magnet. Unfortunately he was born with a severe form of Spina Bafida resulting in severe medical problems that he has dealt with his whole life. He is paralyzed from the waist down, has a tracheotomy to help with breathing, experiences seizures, and is prone to illness and infection due to his weakened immune system. Throughout his life he has endured over 20 surgeries and on more than one occasion, he has been hospitalized and the outlook looked grim. He requires the periodic use of machines to assist in breathing and has a bunch of other needs I’d rather not go into detail about. This means he needs almost constant round-the- clock care. Exhausting care which is provided by Jaz's amazing Mother Candy Marrero Correa.
During the coming weeks and months caring for Macho could become challenging. Early estimates state that it could be 4-6 month before power is restored to the whole island. Being that they live in a very mountainous region I would have to assume their area would be one of the last to get power back. Even in the most stable of times water or power outages were not uncommon. Caring for him without electricity is doable on a short term basis but the prospect of months without power is problematic.
As far as their house is concerned, early reports out of Aibonito say that almost all the wood homes are significantly damaged. Because their house is made primarily of wood and perched high on a hill we must realistically assume their house would be included in that. Jaz’s cousin hadn’t seen their house but he heard through the grapevine that the roof blew off. If this is true, it would especially be hard on them because Jaz’s Dad Roberto tirelessly built the house by hand. It is basically all they have.
Because we haven’t heard directly from them we don’t know their exact needs but we do know that it will be many. Jaz and my main desire is to get Macho out of Puerto Rico and to our house here in Minneapolis, Minnesota at least for the time being. Many things would have to happen to make this possible but we are hopeful that it is doable. My best estimate is that it would be a month or more before it would be even possible for them to make it out. Jaz is hoping to fly down in a few weeks to help them clean up and talk her Mom into moving. (Jaz got her stubbornness from her Mom so this could be a battle.)
Like I said before, we don’t know their exact needs and plans but we want to be ready to assist them in any way once we make contact. This could mean anything from helping them with basic necessities and housing to chartering a medical flight. Right now were in the dark but God willing we can get Macho here to the States. Once funds are recieved we will be putting them in a special savings account and will be documenting how/where everything is spent. If you feel moved to donate money toward this cause it could go to cover some of the following things:
-Plywood and tarps to put a temporary roof on their house.
-A generator to power Macho’s machines.
-Basic necessities to get by.
-Plane tickets for Jaz to go to P.R. and for them to fly back.
-Shipping of supplies or machines essential to Macho's health to MN.
-Rental/Purchase of medical equipment here in MN. These items could include things like an adjustable hospital bed, Oxygen tanks, and other various equipment.
-Building a wheel chair ramp into our house.
Any extra money would be used to get them get settled and take care of any other accommodations we would need to make to adequately provide for them.
We live a very frugal lifestyle and would be sure to put the money to the best use. If/when they move in with us, it would be 8 of us and a fat dog living in a 950 square foot house. We will definitely not be living it up with your contributions. We will use it to provide safety for a cool guy who deserves it, and peace of mind for two parents who I am sure are scared about the future.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Even if you aren’t able to donate please keep Roberto, Candy, and Macho in your prayers
- Nancy Trudel
- Vanessa Correa
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more