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- Nowhere To Turn
- Delivering Health Care to Children Right in their Communities
- Addressing an Urgent Need
- The Tooth Fairy of North Dakota
Opening the Door to Care
Tina Marie was 14 when she started having severe back pain. It prevented her from running, walking long distances and sitting for any length of time. At the same time, her father was diagnosed with cancer.
Since the family was using all their insurance coverage for her father, they couldn’t afford to get Tina Marie the care she needed.
No Small Sacrifice
A brave Tina Marie said it herself, “My dad had cancer; his care was important.” The family had maxed out both working parents’ insurance packages and had already gone into debt over health care bills. But the pain Tina Marie had started feeling at 14, when she was first diagnosed with scoliosis, was only getting worse. Her spine continued to grow with her, but with more than the usual curves.
Delma Chimelis, Tina Marie’s mother, noticed her daughter was growing increasingly more depressed. Tina Marie was embarrassed by her body and didn’t want to go to school. When she did, she covered herself with big sweatshirts and hoodies – even in the Florida heat.
When 16-year-old Tina Marie saw the care workers at the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile that visited her school, she was told her back was getting worse. A fact she knew as the pain had increased, but the doctor told her there was still time to fix her problem as her spine was still flexible; they just had to act now.
A Mother’s Relief
Delma had been wrecked with stress, caring for her sick husband and constantly worried when she’d be able to get the help Tina Marie needed. The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile not only addressed Tina Marie’s needs, but they gave Delma much-needed support as well. “They helped me with the forms, they guided me through everything, and I have someone to talk to also,” Delma said thankfully.
Tina Marie now has appointments to get a back brace, or surgery and will find relief for her pain. Delma says her daughter is back to her bright, lively self. And the Ronald Mobile Care Mobile didn’t stop there; the team is also working with Delma to find the cancer treatment needed for her husband.