Andrea Santa Maria's Story Continued...

Thank you all for taking the time to read the story about my niece Andrea Santa Maria – in a 24 hour period of time, this blog has had more hits than any other story or information I have posted! So I thank you for all your support and the out-pour of help we have received so far. However, this is just the beginning for Andrea…

To date, her family has been in contact with ACDL (Arizona Center for Disability Law) and advised to file an OCR (Office of Civil Rights) complaint, due to the School/District violating Section 504. The high school is not making things any easier and my niece is in desperate need of a legal counsel. Based on what they have been told by the ACDL, there are three very important eliminates to Andrea’s case – one is discrimination, intimidation and retaliation. They have an appointment with an attorney today to determine how strong of a case Andrea has, but all of this is going to cost money. Unfortunately, attorneys who specialize in disability cases are few and far between and the ones that do practice in Arizona are incredibly expensive.

To add to the stress of the situation, Andrea is now in need of a very complex medical glucagon test. From what her Doctor has indicated, this extensive test runs about $3000.00. Andrea would have to be admitted into Phoenix Children's Hospital, so that $3,000.00 does not even cover the hospital costs. The family still does not have any health insurance, although they have applied for ALTCS (Arizona Long Term Care System), the application process is long and arduous. After multiple phone calls and voice mails, Andrea’s mother has been told there is nothing she can do to push the application along faster, nor can they give her any clue whether or not the application will be approved or denied.

As you can imagine, my niece and her family are physically and emotionally drained. Andrea is due to graduate high school on May 25th– a day that is suppose to be a milestone in a young person’s life has turned into a very sad, unfortunate turn of events which could have been prevented if the school district had tested Andrea properly from the beginning. It is our hope that by sharing Andrea’s story we can change the laws where Special Education needs are concerned, if not more.

In the mean time, any additional contacts, assistance, prayers, words of wisdom or financial contributions are greatly appreciated. A benefit account has been set up through Desert School Federal Credit Union for Andrea. If you are interested in making a monetary donation, please contact Sarah at my office for the account information. You can reach her directly at or at 623-643-1015. Again, on behalf of Andrea and my family, we THANK YOU for your continued support! Nate

**05/13/2011 Update**
An account has been set up on behalf of Andrea with Desert Schools Federal Credit Union: Andrea Santa Maria, routing #122187238, Savings #6000091765.