Like every family, the James family from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, had their share of ups and downs. They had tough times than the average family. Mariah was born prematurely, weighing just 1 pound at birth. Her mother, Katherine, was stunned at her doctor’s prognosis Mariah had 72 hours to live.
Katherine only had her mother to turn to. Together, they prayed for the young toddler to pull through. Every day after her birth was a blessing. But there were some hard times they had to face.
Now 20-years-old, Mariah has watched her mother go through a second pregnancy, and birth to her little sister, Maiya, two years later. Throughout the years, Katherine has managed to care for both of her girls.
As Mariah grew, doctors discovered that she was blind. She later became wheelchair-bound before being diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. She needed spinal fusion sur-gery a year ago, during which a steel rod was placed in her back. But that wasn’t the end of Mariah’s test in life.
Mariah cannot chew or swallow by herself. She relies on a feeding tube to get her nutrients. Katherine cares for her every hour of every day, seven days a week. She is a single mother who never gets a day off, but she doesn’t mind. She loves her children and would do everything in her power to keep them safe and happy, even if that meant driving miles to and from Mariah’s music therapy classes between her appointments. But one day, on the way to therapy, they ran into some tr-ouble.
Caring for two children as a single mother is not easy. When one is differently-abled, all their attention becomes constantly focused on caring for their child to the best of their abilities. Katherine thought the least she could do was drive two hours to and from something that gave her joy.
Mariah lit up every time she heard music. So, when Katherine’s car b-roke down, she put every penny she had towards getting it back up and running. But when old Betsy began to regularly give up, the James’ quickly fell behind on bills.
The 16-year-old, Maiya, noticed the final notice letters in the front door before dawn.
Katherine never wanted her daughter to know about anything. She was the adult, so if anyone was to take care of everything, it was her. Maiya thought her mother needed some extra help to get back on her feet.
She had enough of seeing her mother do her best daily. She had no idea if it would work or not, but it was worth a try. So, Maiya went to her computer and began to type. “My mom works hard to do everything she can to provide for us, but what she needs is a minivan that has space for Mariah’s wheelchair.” Maiya shared her family’s reality and her sister’s condition.
Even after days, she never got any responses, and she thought nobody saw her mail. Joe and Dani Levi, founders of Dani’s Autos, stood on their doorstep. But they weren’t alone. Behind them was Fox 29’s Bill Anderson and his camera crew. Katherine was first a little confused, and then Dani pointed down the street. “That’s going to be your new van.” Maiya and Katherine couldn’t control their happiness. Dani told Katherine they would take care of anything that could occur with their new vehicle over the next four years. On top of that, he also gave her a $500 gift card.
Since Joe and Dani’s thoughtful gift, their generosity has gone viral. The video of Katherine’s surprise has gained more than 400,000 views online, and over 10,000 likes from people all over the world. More surprisingly, residents of Philadelphia have shared their own experiences with Dani’s Motors, praising them for their thoughtful gestures in the past. But there’s one person who everyone praised. Maiya! Although Motherhood is not easy having daughters like Maiya sure makes it all worth the while!