Ten-year-old Stormy Garibay is putting together a non-profit organization to help families who are employed but in a temporary bind, especially those facing extreme medical costs.
Her organization is called “Out of the Storm.” She has, with guidance from her mother, Hillary, who owns Lil Munchkins Day Care, created the attached logo, applied for an ID number from the state, which is 20-8146463 and has a letter ready to go to area businesses.
What prompted someone who is in the 5th grade to start such a project? Some may remember the family who moved from California to Eagle Point several years ago and shortly thereafter Adrian Garibay, Stormy’s father, was severely injured in a biking accident. He was unable to work for some time but her mother was working having purchased Lil Munchkins. Medical bills were in the range of $250,000. They sought assistance from various agencies, to no avail– they were told they were employed. A number of people read about their plight and helped them. They were amazed that community people would help a family they didn’t even know, a family new to the community. “That never would have happened in San Diego,” said Hillary.
That was reason #1 for Stormy’s decision. Reason #2 was because of her own health. At the age of six months a doctor from Texas flew to the California hospital where Stormy was a patient and saved her life. She had something called intussusception, which is a situation where the intestines telescope inside themselves. Not only is it extremely rare, it is all too often fatal.
Probably as a result of the intestine illness, she developed issues that were not diagnosed until she was taken to Doernbechers. It was there they said she had something called Prolonged QT.
Basically this occurs when the intervals are too long in the heart’s lower chamber to discharge and recharge. The electrical impulses are measured in five waves using five letters of the alphabet, PQRST, and QT is a prolonged span of time for the impulses.
Stormy was on medication until two years ago and now is monitored on a regular basis. And as of two years ago she was cleared to play softball.
Stormy says she just wants to help people who are in a temporary bind like her family was.
Giving and kindness is so evident in this petite young lady. About five months ago she donated 10 inches of her beautiful dark hair to Locks of Love. “A friend did it and I just wanted to help someone,” said Stormy, who is a fifth grader at Eagle Rock Elementary. Her brother, Damien, 8, is also a student at ERE.
“Stormy is a bright, conscientious student who always displays caring and respect for others. Her project does not surprise me at all because she and her family are active in community and school activities,” said Joni Parson, ERE Principal. “Incidentally, her third grade brother found $20 on the ground during Book Fair and turned it in. Typically we tell students that if no one claims the money (or necklace or whatever the item), they can have it. Damien has not returned or asked about the money he found,” said Parsons.
Stormy is a straight A student, is not only a participant in the Reading Club at ERE, she is a student you will find reading rather than getting involved in a dispute or controversy. And she is a 10-year-old with a definite goal. She wants to be an emergency room doctor and go to Johns Hopkins University.
Donations may be mailed to Out of the Storm, c/o Stormy Garibay, P.O. Box 854, Eagle Point, OR 97524.We have asked Stormy to keep us informed on “Out of the Storm.”
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent