Maria Hermelinda’s life changed completely twelve years ago when she gave birth to her son, Jonathan, who has a 70% intellectual disability. From the very beginning, she provided him with unconditional love﹔ facing the challenges of motherhood, taking on the special care that Jonathan required, and working part time to support the household financially//since the abandoned the family upon learning of the baby’s condition.

At 52 years old, Maria has continued to fight for her son. Every day, she teaches him after school﹔ reinforcing what he’s learned through games, songs, and practical activities that help him grasp the material. With pride, Maria showed us the work Jonathan has accomplished since childhood. Her voice broke as she explained, “I put everything on the wall because it’s a step toward his independence. I know that someday I won’t be here to teach him. Even now, I struggle to understand some of the assignments the teachers send,” which is why Maria seeks help from young people in the neighborhood to explain how to complete Jonathan’s homework.

Additionally, she manages his special routine including diaper changes and medication at specific times. She prepares the medicines, ensuring that each dose is correct to maintain her son’s health and well-being. Likewise, diaper changing is a constant task that requires lots of responsibility and delicacy ever since Jonathan was born. His premature birth affected the proper development of his anus, leading to a series of surgical interventions and treatments to ensure the functionality of this cavity for his biological needs. However, despite reaching the age of 12, he still requires the use of diapers. Unfortunately, these have recently caused multiple episodes of dermatitis, further complicating his situation.

Meanwhile, Maria Hermelinda has faced the challenge of asthma since she was young, finding relief in medications that allowed her to lead a dignified life. However, the reality of the costs of these treatments has been a heavy burden on her shoulders. In an act of sacrifice, she had to make the difficult decision to stop acquiring them, as her motherly love compels her to prioritize her son’s needs over her own. Maria and Jonathan’s story is a testament of love and perseverance. It teaches us that even in the most difficult circumstances, kindness and support can significantly improve the lives of families. Therefore, the Pan de Vida Foundation has contributed to three crucial aspects in their situation: spirituality, nutrition, and education. We wanted to show them that despite the difficulties, God is present in their lives. Hence, we join in prayer for their spiritual well-being. To ensure that their family has the proper amounts of nutrients, we provide food kits. Additionally, Jonathan was enrolled in our education program to then receive school supply kits.

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