Adopt a stocking: fire worsens problems for an already struggling family


LIMA – When Marley says it’s been a “really tough year,” she probably underestimates her family’s situation.

Thirteen months ago, she and her husband Clark lost a baby during pregnancy. In April, a house fire destroyed almost all of their belongings, forcing the couple and their 6-year-old twins to find new accommodation.

Rising from the ashes, both literally and figuratively, the couple got married on August 17, a month before the birth of their daughter Rose.

Twins Ray and Kaylynn each have unique needs. Ray is autistic and cannot speak; Kaylynn has cerebral palsy and cannot walk. Their parents had taken them to school every day until early December, when the finance company repossessed the family vehicle when they fell behind in payments.

“We’re having a hell of a time,” Marley said. “We are behind on our invoices. “

Disability checks for the twins and for Marley, who suffers from a rare skin disease that prevents him from keeping a job, are the family’s only income. Clark suffered a gunshot wound in 2018 and has lingering medical issues. He is awaiting government approval for his own disability claim.

In the meantime, the bills keep pouring in.

“It’s even hard to get food sometimes,” Marley said. “And with a broken microwave, even cooking food can be a problem. “

Transportation would be welcome, but the vehicle – a van or SUV – must be able to carry Kaylynn’s wheelchair.

“We could also use a washer and dryer, blankets, pillows and bedding and clothes for the kids,” Marley said.

Ray wears shoe sizes small to medium and boys size 13 shoes. The same goes for Clark’s son Lawrence, who spends a lot of time with the family.

Kaylynn wears extra-small pants and shirts and prefers leggings and sweatpants. She is wearing size 8 girl shoes.

The youngest member of the family wears size 3-6 months outfits. Diapers are still needed, her mother said.

When it comes to toys, “Kaylynn loves unicorns and trolls, while Ray loves monster trucks, superheroes, and anything that lights up and makes noise,” their mom said.

Marley and Clark do their best to keep the Christmas spirit alive at home, but sometimes it’s hard to look past the tragedies they’ve endured over the past 12 months.

“It’s been a heartbreaking year for us,” said Marley.


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