Claudia is single mother raising not one, but TWO boys, with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Claudia and her family (she also has two girls) exemplify a large part of why Eli's Army Foundation exists. Logistics are a difficult and expensive piece having a child in a wheelchair; having two exponentially increases both. Claudia's boys, Damian & Daniel, have power wheelchairs, but are unable to use them, because their mother does not have an accessible vehicle at this time. Though Eli's Army does not provide vehicles, we are actively attempting to become a resource to assist families find the organizations that can help in ways we cannot. Additionally, Claudia rents her home, so making accessible alterations to her home was not feasible. THIS is where our "not if but how" motto came into play!
Damian & Daniel are a joy. They are happy young men, full of life. Eli, being just a few years older than them himself, generated ideas of things the boys might like. I would be remiss to not add that when speaking with Claudia and assessing her needs, her main concern was making her boys happy and finding things THEY would enjoy!
We showed up to visit Claudia and her boys. The boys were somewhat quiet at first. Then, Eli helped present them with items that were right up their alley. He put Grandscape (retail/restaurant/outdoor space in The Colony, TX) package together to enjoy a day out! Restaurant gift card, a super cool gaming experience, and ice cream. The boys lit up! We also talked to them about things they like to do with their mom and sisters and decided a zoo membership would be a great fit.
Claudia is selfless and only asked for things for her boys, so we HAD to get her a Stanley tumbler...naturally...mom needs hydration in the latest and greatest cup! We provided practical and helpful items to help transfer her boys around their home & in/out of vehicles: a transfer board and a "Perfect Lift". Eli's Army was also able to provide some vehicle maintenance. And...as always, comfy socks, which are an Eli's Army staple.
Another thing to note is Claudia speaks Spanish. This adds to making things even a bit more complicated for her daily life. Fortunately, my friend and realtor, Laura Morin with DFW Remax, joined me as translator on calls with Claudia and attended in person as we presented items to Claudia and family, because we all know Google translate can only help so much! Special shoutout to Laura!
We wish Claudia and her children well and will continue to be in touch with them! We are so thrilled to have them be part of Eli's Army!