A Vancouver Island family that’s experienced more than its share of challenges is reaching out to say thank you for a helping hand.
Marina Miller has been raising her five much-younger half-siblings for the past ten years. The 36 year-old stepped into the role after her parent’s mental illness hit a breaking point.
She has been supporting the kids, now aged 13-19, without any outside funding. Miller said, it hasn’t always been easy.
“You know, there’s been lots of hard days and lots of challenging days,” she said.
“But I think overall, this job has taught me more than a regular job ever would have. We’ve had our bumps and bruises along the way.”
Most recently she’s been struggling with how she was going to come up with the money to pay for their dental care, estimated at a cost of $35,000.
But a chance meeting at her hairdresser’s with the office manager of Otter Point Dental put things in motion.
“Joanna happened to be sitting in the seat and said nothing for about 10 minutes, and just kind of overheard this conversation the hairdresser Gail and I were having,” said Miller.
She shared the story with Dr. Tera Groff at Otter Point.
Since then, assessments have been made and wisdom teeth have come out. Groff said the care will continue for as long as the kids need it.
“We have three going and we’ll have a fourth. They have one brother with perfect teeth.”
At roughly $7,000 a case, Miller is still in shock at the generosity.
“There aren’t even words for that tremendous gift.”
Now, she’s sharing her story, in hopes of inspiring others to step up and lend a hand. Miller said a little support can make all the difference.
“This is just an example of someone going above and beyond for another stranger in the community.”