Before all the paint and construction - before Bridget Smith shows up with a camera crew, each Mi Casa project begins with a simple letter in which we ask each prospective winner to tell us why they should be the chosen one. Like many in the past, we received many heartfelt pleas - and this Mi Casa winning family was no exception. Here's a sample of what the Rivera family wrote to KENS 5:
"Our home was my parent home given to me just before my father died. The past couple of years it has started to need more work than we have the resources to accomplish at this time. In April of 2007 I decided to take up the linolium in the kitchen, dining room area and stain the concrete like I had in the living room. When I took up the linolium I discovered I had a water leak in the foundation. Before I could get the plumber out for an estimate, my husband suffered a heart attack and stroke, he ended up having quadruple bypass surgery."
"John, my husband was in the hospital for 24 days, then at home in therapy for 8 weeks to recover his speech and gain strength. He received wonderful care, but we were left with a lot of bills after insurance. He went back to work and was denied his old job and instead was placed in a lower paying position. He went back into the hospital to have a pacemaker put in but only missed one day of work, but again we had more hospital bills. In 2008, John got a toe infection that was misdiagnosed by his dr. By the time he went to a podiatrist, he was placed in the hospital to have his toe amputated and then released 3 days later to continue intense antibotic treatment. Again, insurance helped but we are still paying hospital and doctor bills."
"My husband is a diabetic. He went back to work and again was placed in a even lower paying position. For the last year, he has been in good health and not missed work, but unfortunately was let go in April '09 from his job He has finally found a job and will start it on the 18th of January. In the meantime, we have not been able to keep up with the repairs and maintenance our home needs. Our heater went out in October of '08 and the a/c went out September of '09. The outside of the house needs painting."
"We have 2 children (19 & 21) in college. They are doing it with no help from us except providing room and board. We can't afford to send them away to school so it is important for us to keep our house. We used to love having people over but our house is in such bad shape that we are embarassed to have visitors outside of family." -Debbie K. Rivera