Vail Valley Charitable Fund: Gratitude in the new year |

Vail Valley Charitable Fund: Gratitude in the new year

Cindy Goodwin, Carlos Armenta, Carlitos, Denzel and Jair Armenta Goodwin
VVCF grant recipients
(Special to the Daily)

Living in this gorgeous, unique valley has been one of the most wonderful blessings that our family has experienced. My husband, three children and I love the mountains, the river, hiking, camping, snowboarding and the plethora of world class concerts and events we can experience here. We live in a wonderful neighborhood where my kids have grown up playing outside and our neighbors have become our best friends. We feel extremely lucky to call Edwards, Colorado, our home.

However living in this valley also has some great challenges. The cost of living makes raising a family and making a home here challenging to say the least. My husband and I have built a life for ourselves and our children here through years of hard work and dedication. Jobs like my husband and I do (teaching and maintaining properties) are essential to our valley, yet are not paid huge salaries. Still through years of honest, hard work we bought a house, have supported our family and created a happy life for ourselves here.

Yet all that was in jeopardy a little more than a year ago when a perfect storm of unexpected circumstances put our entire family in an extremely difficult situation. I’ll never forget the day that I rushed my husband to the hospital and within an hour watched him wheeled away for emergency surgery. The rock of our family unexpectedly suffering and vulnerable.

It was a major surgery and he had to stay in the hospital for five days afterwards to recover. It was such a scary and difficult time. I remember walking with him through the hospital halls as part of his physical therapy while he was recovering. All the doctors, nurses, specialists and staff were so wonderful, helpful and caring. I remember seeing the rooms that were named after donors and thinking, “I could definitely see how people would want to donate to this hospital with all its amazing staff.” I hugged my husband tighter, grateful for them saving his life.

But then a wave of sadness rushed over me as I realized that not only would we not be able to donate to the hospital, we would barely be able to pay our bills that month and we would soon be faced with an insurmountable medical bill. Because I was doing a teaching residency year that year, my income had greatly dropped and I had lost my insurance. I was still searching for an insurance option that would be affordable when this happened, so we had no insurance and had lost most of our income.

After he was discharged from the hospital, he stayed home to recover and was unable to work for the next six weeks. His boss was very understanding and helpful, even paying him for some of the time he was out of work, but we still struggled. We were already working off of an extremely tight budget because of my diminished hours and unusual circumstances and now we were stretched to the limit.

But it was the help of our amazing community, including a generous grant from the Vail Valley Charitable Fund that helped us get through all of this. Friends and family rallied around us and supported us in so many ways. Our community pulled through for us and we received help for the medical bills that could have taken away everything we worked so hard to build here in this beautiful valley.

Today, we are back on our feet again, but none of that would have been possible without the generous support of our treasured community. We are forever grateful for the support of the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, Vail Health, Vail Medical Assistance, and all our friends and family who helped us get through this very difficult situation. Please know that the gifts you give to families like ours really mean the world and make all the difference in our lives. My husband, three sons and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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