Season for Caring: Meet the Milam Family
Renee Milam is a single mom with three children under four years old, including a set of two-year-old twins. You could say her hands are full.
Three of her children have medical diagnoses or developmental delays, including autism and down syndrome. Life can be challenging.
Renee lives with her own chronic medical conditions. Her family’s needs are mentally, physically and financially exhausting.
Due to the pandemic, Renee lost her job with Marriott Hotels where she worked for the last five years. Renee is a fighter, but she could use our help this year.
When her previous apartment complex was condemned, all residents were relocated. Moving from her home of five years to a new apartment in a new school district was difficult. She has a child who is in a wheelchair, but there weren’t any accessible units available. They settled for a first-floor apartment. Unfortunately, there is still no wheelchair ramp and their small living space barely accommodates the family.
One of her twins has downs syndrome and requires in-home nursing care to attend to his medical and physical needs. His twin sister receives multiple therapies for developmental delays and also has complex dental needs. Her four-year-old son has autism and a brain tumor, which may result in surgery but the overall process has been delayed due to COVID.
The family is currently part of Any Baby Can’s Intervención en la primera infancia program where the twins receive speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and specialized skills training. These therapies, provided via telehealth, have been a consistent force throughout the pandemic.
Renee is paying out of pocket 100% for medications because her insurance maxed out and then she lost her coverage when she was let go from her job. She was barely getting by on unemployment, and now that’s run out. She consistently has to make the decision to not purchase her own medications so that she can afford all of the things her children need.
A Hope for the Future
Despite all of these difficulties, Renee has been very proactive in trying to better her situation. After losing her job, she has been job hunting and leaning on family to watch her children so she can attend interviews. She consistently looks for resources in the community, had applied for extensions in unemployment benefits when available, and utilizes the support and therapies provided to her children through Any Baby Can. Renee always does her best and rarely misses appointments despite all of the challenges she is facing. Her commitment to her family and supporting her children is top priority. In addition, she has been trying to go back to school to get her GED. She has also begun the process of applying to cosmetology school.
This year, the Milam family was selected as part of La campaña Season for Caring del Austin-American Statesman. Through the campaign, we hope to cover the family’s medical needs, assistive devices and therapies, secure safe and reliable transportation, and better outfit the family’s home to accommodate her kids.
Even in the face of extreme challenges, and with no certainty in her financial situation, Renee never gives up. Fulfilling this family's wish list will help stabilize the family during a crisis and allow Renee to focus on steady employment and a more stable future.
How You Can Help
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