Since losing both parents when she was just 17 years old, life is dramatically different for Samantha Rodrigues as the sister raises her 5 siblings.
Most teenagers are hanging out with friends and going to football games. But Samantha Rodriguez became a mom to her 5 siblings when both of her parents tragically died from cancer.
Samantha had a very close relationship with her mother who passed away when she was twelve.
As if that wasn't enough of a loss for Samantha and her 5 siblings, their father also passed away three years later. Her siblings, Destiny, 7; Bella, 9; Michael, 12; Brenda, 15; and Milagros, 16, then looked to their eldest sister to not only provide for them but to be their role model as well.
Sister Raises 5 Siblings After Death Of Both Parents
Milagros said her older sister “gave up basically her life to take care of us” and that “Sam is a mom and a dad to us.”
Samantha helped take care of her parents when they got sick. At one point she even dropped out of school to care for them. After their deaths, she returned to school to earn her high school diploma. She says she wanted to show her siblings the importance of education.
Desperate to keep her family together she realized, “My reality [was] I’m 17 but these are my brothers and sisters, and when I looked at them, I knew that they’re children. They’re vulnerable and they need an adult, so I became their adult.” She added, "No one in our family could take us all in, [so] I decided that I had to do everything I possibly could to help these kids. "There was no way that I was going to let us be split up."
For the last three years, the sister has been raising her 5 siblings on her own. She gets them up and ready for school and helps them with their homework when they get home.
All the while, she is attending college and waitressing part-time. She's learned how to maintain a schedule and balance her priorities like any other mom as she gets up early to pack lunches and schedules doctor and dentist appointments around her job.
Support For The Rodriguez Siblings
But someone realized how unique this situation was and submitted her story to the TV talk show, The View. On the show, she was given a brand new car to shuttle the whole family in and a $15,000 scholarship for college.
After her story aired, A GoFundMe page was created to help the rest of her siblings with daily expenses and money for college for all the kids. The page has now raised over $86,000. Many of the donors mentioned on the page that they'd read about the family's struggles and felt moved to give what they could.
Their story goes to show the power of family is an incredible bond. It also shows how God moved the hearts of others to take care of the needs this precious little family has.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
WATCH: Sister Raises 5 Siblings After Losing Both Parents
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h/t: ABC News
Featured Image Credit: Youtube/The View