Sixteen-year-old Maiya James’ mother struggles every day to take care of her disabled sister Mariah, and to make ends meet.
Mariah suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, is completely blind, and in addition, recently had her spine fused. As a result, she requires round-the-clock attention and extensive medical care. So when the family van broke down, leaving Maiya’s mother Miss Katherine struggling to get Mariah to her frequent doctor’s appointments, Maiya took matters into her own hands.
She Internet researched car dealerships in her area and stumbled across Dani’s Auto. Having read that they frequently participate in community outreach programs, Maiya wrote to them asking for help: “[My mom] is afraid to drive anywhere, but she still needs to get Mariah to doctor’s appointments.” The engine would cut off randomly while being driven — an extremely hazardous issue.
Dani’s Auto co-owner Joe Levi explains, “It wasn’t just someone asking for help, there was a story behind it. I could relate to the story…I saw the struggles that the family went through, and it made me feel like it was something I wanted to be a part of.”
And Maiya got more than she bargained for.
She had simply wanted Dani’s team to come to their home and take a look at the van in hopes that they would be able to get it back on the road. Dani’s team knew that the mother of two needed something better as well as safer. And just as Dani Levi, the other owner of Dani’s Auto, was asking Miss Katherine what she thought about having something better, the honking of an approaching vehicle was heard…