Help Reina Carino Recover and Care for Baby Micah

For: Reina Carino
Bonney Lake, WA
Organizer: Rachel Gustafson
Help Reina Carino Recover and Care for Baby Micah (Reina Carino)
of $15,000 goal
39% Complete
Raised by 29 donors

The Story

Friends, after you read this, see update below!

Hi friends, my name is Rachel and I’m posting this on behalf of my friend and fellow new mommy Reina, single parent to 11 month old Micah. She has been suffering from a growing cyst under her breast that will most likely need surgery. We set up this fund raiser to cover her very immediate needs caring for Micah, and her month long post surgery recovery. Please read, please donate whatever you can, and please, please share this story.

I reconnected with Reina and found out about her situation very recently on Feb 16th. I actually had to drag the details out of her, as she is so nice and humble, she doesn’t want to bother anyone with her problems. Since then my husband and I, and our Bonney Lake friends Eric and Monique Visser, have been to visit her, assess the situation, and help with immediate needs. I have been in daily communication with her.

Let me tell you a little more of her story by starting with this; last year, she chose life, and 11 months ago she welcomed baby Micah into this world, on her own. She lives in Bonney Lake, but has no family for support, and the former boyfriend/father has been out of the picture since telling her she needed to get an abortion.

She has been full time mom to Micah since he was born, an all natural momma who has put every penny she has into her son, going without even the most basic of necessities for herself. Besides selling a few items online, she has no income and receives no child support.

Her medical condition has gotten rapidly worse over the last 2 weeks. A cyst that had been festering for months had grown to the size of a golf ball as of last week. Initial diagnosis was that surgery would be required immediately and that leaving it unattended would be life threatening, but an infection sprung up, necessitating ten days of antibiotics which she is currently in the middle of. As of this writing, the cyst has swelled in size again, and is causing her an immense amount of pain. If the antibiotics work and the infection clears, then she will most likely be scheduled for surgery.

We have identified several needs that we are asking for your help with. Some of these needs can be solved by people with in-person service, some by select donations of specific needed items, but most of her needs can be solved with financial contributions:

  • Rent - she does not have enough to cover her $1600 March rent payment at this time, no income coming in for future months either.
  • Utilities - she is behind on her payments, working on a hardship extension, but owes over $350
  • Groceries - she had been eating as healthy as possible as a breast feeding momma, but now that she is on antibiotics, she is struggling to transition Micah to solids. As of this writing, she doesn’t have any formula in the house, and is trying to feed him bone broth and goats milk.
  • Baby Needs -  breast milk, formula, diapers, wipes, and clothes for a 11 month and growing baby boy.
  • Momma Needs - she sleeps on a twin mattress on the floor, and doesn’t even have the basic necessities.
  • Car Repair - Her older Jeep Cherokee has bald tires, check engine light on, and doesn’t start. She absolutely needs a car to get Micah around, and get to a future job. We don’t know if fixing the car is the right move, or if she needs something more reliable. It would be great if we could get a mechanic to look at it.
  • Phone - She has been borrowing a friend’s old iPhone 5, and paying a small monthly usage charge. The phone screen is so broken it is unusable for anything other than receiving calls. With no computer, that phone was her lifeline, connection to her doctor, and sole source of internet/text/email. If someone has an iPhone they could donate, that would be ideal, as it would make the migration as easy as possible.
  • Pre Surgery Assistance - Since she doesn’t have a car, she needs rides to the doctors, and someone she can trust to care for Micah. Right now her pain is so bad she can barely lift Micah, and needs help caring for him during her doctor appointments.
  • Post Surgery Recovery Care - She was told it to expect a month recovery post surgery, where she definitley wouldn’t be able to pick up Micah, and would need help around the house and with childcare.
  • Medical Bills - She has insurance, unknown what the total bills will be at the end of the day. Will update when we find out.
  • Job - Post recovery, she desperately wants to work, and support herself and Micah. 
  • Prayer - Reina is a good Christian woman, on her knees praying to God for help. Please pray for her and the needs listed, and please help be the answer to her prayers with your contribution.

Here’s what we have been able to do since the 16th, and some thank yous as well to those who stepped up right away:

  • Andrew and I drove down from Mill Creek on the 19th with baby clothes, diapers/wipes and supplies from Costco, and did a grocery run while we were down there once we saw what she needed.
  • Eric and Monique Visser live 10 min from her, and have picked her and Micah up, hosted them at their house overnight and for meals, bought diapers/wipes/toys and donated toys as well, and have offered to watch Micah in the future. Thank you Eric and Mo!
  • Joe and Joyce Garis generously donated toys and clothes and some specific needed house-ware.
  • My Attorney Josh Curtis of the Curtis Law Group, drafted essential paperwork Reina needed to get in place prior to surgery, and he did it pro bono. Thank you Josh!
  • Ken and Trish Gustafson donated financially prior to this page going live. Thank you!
  • Terri King picked up baby Micah and took care of him all day while Reina was in the ER, so very appreciated.
  • Nicole Levert brought Reina some personal items needed and took her to Doctor, thank you!

Again, Reina never asks for help, I had to draw all this out of her. Her situation for the past 11 months has been rough being alone with baby and barely making ends meet. She needs our help caring for Micah, prepping for and recovering from surgery, paying her rent, getting car fixed, and getting a job. 

I know there are so many people in need and worthy causes to donate to, but if this page found you, please help Reina and Micah, please help be their answer to prayer. Every little bit is appreciated and will make a huge difference in their lives.

If you would like to offer specific needed items, or your time and/or service (if you are a mechanic that can look at her car, want to donate a phone, or are a mom that can help with childcare or donating breast milk), please contact me directly to discuss.

Thank you, and God Bless you!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 7, 2017

Posted on March 7, 2017

3/6/17 Hello friends and supporters, a lot to tell you about in this update. Forgive us for not posting sooner, we are new to crowdfunding, and its been a little overwhelming managing everything on top of our own jobs and baby and responsibilities.

First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who has donated. It's been overwhelming watching donations come in from people we know and those we don't, people Reina knows and those she doesn't. We have received some off-line in-kind (physical goods) donations too, thank you so much! We will be helping Reina send out the thank you's to you all soon. We are about to set up the transfer into Reina's bank account, to help her with some very immediate needs, like rent. But please know, your donations have not only helped Reina, they've helped take some of the pressure off of those of us who have been on-site helping in-person.

From the bottom of all our hearts, thank you so much.

Our plan was and still is to solve some very immediate health and basic needs, and to buy Reina some time to recover, get Micah's weight up and transitioned to solid foods, and help Reina get a job and get independent again. At this point, with ~$3,500 raised, we may have bought her a couple months, and we will pray for additional people to hear about the mission here, and for donations to come in to get us closer to our goal.

Quick Recap on the last 10 (very crazy) days sine we launched this page:
  • We first heard from Reina, and discovered the depth of the need on 2/16. We drove down to Bonney Lake with supplies on 2/19. Our Bonney Lake friends Eric and Mo Visser got involved right away too. We launched this funding page on 2/23. 
  • By Friday 2/24 it was pretty clear Reina needed in-person help, so our doula Marianne Jacobson drove down from Woodinville and picked up her and Micah and they stayed the weekend with us here in Mill Creek. Reina had to start taking antibiotics for her infection, her milk dried up, and Micah was having a very hard time making the very sudden transition from breast milk to formula and solids.
  • Sunday 2/26 Micah's low food intake for the previous several days caught up with him, and after throwing up what he had eaten that morning, he got very pale and lethargic. So my husband took Reina and Micah to Children's Mill Creek. They treated him for dehydration, and helped Reina with a feeding plan. The Dr also looked at Reina's infected cyst and told her she should not wait till she was thru with her antibiotics, that she needed to go back to her Dr as soon as she got home. Later that afternoon, after trying a couple different formulas, we found one Micah would drink.
  • On Monday 2/27 our lovely doula Marianne drove them back down to Bonney Lake along with in-kind donations we received for her. In addition, she donated her time as a feeding specialist and did a consultation for Reina, helping her with a feeding plan and schedule.
  • Eric and Mo hosted Reina and Micah for the first part of that week as well, and helped them get settled back in their place after a couple days, stocking them up with groceries. Mo got her to the Dr, who determined she did need surgery, but couldn't get her scheduled till April 26th! Besides hot compresses, there is nothing she can do about it till then.
Update on the Needs List above:
  • We got introduced to a mechanic who agreed to look at Reina's jeep when he gets back from vacation, this will be super important to helping her get to and from a future job. Please pray for an easy fix!
  • We have an iPhone we think will work. My husband is driving down to Bonney Lake Tuesday 3/7 with supplies and the phone.
  • I believe at this point she was able to pay her utility bill, so that is covered for now.
  • She was able to rent out her spare room, cutting down her total rent bill, and will be making her March payment with the help of the funds you all have so generously donated.
Still Need (please pray, and please help if you can):
  • In addition to the list above, a main focus is helping Reina find a job and get back on her feet in the next couple months. Without a working phone and any source of internet, she has been pretty isolated in general, and handicapped specifically in looking for work. Mo Visser is a recruiter and in addition to all the ways she and her family have generously helped so far, she is going to lend her special talents to this end. But your prayers and your help are needed. If you have a job opening in Bonney Lake area, please direct message me and I'll put you in touch with Mo. 
  • In order to work, she needs childcare help for Micah. That could come in a combination of solutions, from a likeminded stay at home mom, to a daycare of some sort, tbd depending on the option. 
  • Please share this story, pray for Reina and Micah, and contribute if you can. 
I've stayed in daily communication with Reina, and I'm happy to report she sounded way better this weekend than she has the last couple weeks. She is eating better herself, and her "brain fog" from stress, sleeplessness, and mal-nutrition is lifting. Just as important sometimes as feeding someone in need a warm meal, is feeding someone in need love and encouragement for their soul. 

Please know that you are making a difference with your contributions, your prayers, and your encouraging words. Thank you so much!

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