Jake and Maria Grey got married nine years ago on a beach in Florida. They’re happily married. They have two children, 2-year-old Fairen and 6-year-old Brighton. Brighton was born with a very rare genetic disorder — Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome — which essentially means that developmentally, she still operates cognitively as a newborn. Because of her disorder, she requires what her mother refers to as 24/7 care. Brighton will never be able to live on her own.
While the couple has been desperately trying to pay for the cost of Brighton’s healthcare, they don’t qualify for Medicaid in Texas, where they live. Jake, the breadwinner, earns too much money. He makes $40,000 dollars for a family of four. Private insurance covers a lot of the bills, but the Grey’s still pay about $15,000 a year on medical costs for Brighton ⏤ an amount they simply can’t afford anymore. Which is why they applied for additional state benefits to help pay for her medical needs; they’re number 60,000 on the list. Despite the fact that they are happily married, Jake and Maria are now considering a divorce.
By divorcing, Maria would become an unemployed, single mother, and would qualify for Medicaid through the state, according to Today. And although Jake and Maria are in love, and are happy together, they will do anything they can to provide for their daughter. But what they really want is to remain a family unit — and get the help they need.
“We are not looking for charity, we’re not looking for money or donations. We don’t want a GoFundMe — we don’t want any of that. I need the state to step up and give us the benefits we need,” says Maria.