Small Mission family in desperate need of big repairs to trailer

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Meriba Ruiz stands in the kitchen of her home on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023, in Mission. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

MISSION — Meriba Ruiz is a single parent in Mission that on top of having medical needs for herself and her two sons, is also dealing with severe water damage to the trailer where they live.

Meriba was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 15 and in recent years, it has impacted her vision. She now has weekly appointments to get shots to her eyes.

Her oldest son Angel Raya, 17, has an intellectual disability, ADHD and a neurological disorder. Her other son, Fernando, 14, suffers from ADHD, depression and a heart condition.

Both are La Joya school district students.

Meriba Ruiz stands in the living room with her son Fernando, 14, at their home on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023, in Mission. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

Angel said his favorite subjects are geography and math. He has a love for maps. Helping his mom in any way he can, he said it is his favorite thing to do while at home. Fernando is into gaming with his favorite games being “Call of Duty” and “Street Fighter.”

Meriba said her little family usually keeps to themselves and that is why she has been in desperate need for repairs to their trailer.

Buying a travel trailer six years ago for the family to have something of their own after renting for most of their lives, the family is in dire need of repairs all over the trailer.

Suffering water damage during the last major storm, the travel trailer has several spots that are in need of repair.

Meriba showed where there is water damage in the kitchen area by the ceiling, in the living room and in the shower that also has black mold building up, which is a concern due to Fernando’s heart condition.

There are also soft spots in the floorboards and water damage near several windows of the trailer.

“To be honest, I feel bad right now,” Meriba said in Spanish. “I went to see how much the material would cost and how much it would be for someone to come and fix the roof and it’s very expensive. And when it rains, it’s when I get the most worried about the roof and how it just keeps getting worse and worse.”

On top of the much needed repairs, Meriba is also experiencing car issues with her 2011 Nissan Rogue. Just before being interviewed for this story, she said that the car completely stopped working and that she will now need to focus on fixing the car before anything else.

Meriba said she heavily relies on her vehicle for all the doctor appointments for herself and her two sons.

She also said she would appreciate a new heater since the trailer gets cold.

“If there’s anyone that can help, we would greatly appreciate it so much,” she said.

To help, call the United Way of South Texas at (956) 686-6331 and inquire about this family and the Spirit of Christmas campaign. The Monitor has partnered with the United Way of South Texas to garner support for Rio Grande Valley families in need of monetary donations, or other items and gifts specified in this story.

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