CUMMING, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A Cumming couple is starting a unique project to cover their 2-year-old's medical bills.
Little Claire Gaines has been fighting to overcome several setbacks and developmental delays since she was born. Her parents, Kristina and Brent Gaines, still do not have a diagnosis and are searching for answers.
When Claire was born she failed every hearing test at the hospital. For the first two years of her life, she barely even smiled.
"When she was born she cried every day, six to eight hours a day nonstop," Kristina Gaines said.
"You're heart breaks when you know your kid is like that and you can't help them and you don't know how to help them," Brent Gaines said.
For two years, the couple began going to doctors visits and specialists while they did multiple tests on Claire. They realized their daughter had difficulty hearing, balance problems, and couldn't see.
The moment she finally got special glasses was one the family will never forget.
"She looked at our faces and she would touch our faces and she would just giggle like pure joy," Kristina said. "It just brightened up the whole room."
The co-pays and doctors bills added up even with insurance. In the first year alone they were billed $20,000.
So the Gaineses came up with an idea: sprucing up their neighbors' mailboxes to earn some extra cash.
"We didn't want to ask for a handout," Kristina said. "We want to go out there and work and provide for her and all our family."
So far, they've gotten hundreds of requests. They are hoping these small projects will eventually add up to something big – to the answers they're looking for their little girl.
Until then, Kristina is finding comfort providing for her family in a new way, doing everything she can to help Claire laugh and smile a little more.
For more information on the Gaines' Mailboxes for Medical Bills, you can look at the family's GoFundMe here.
Additionally, if you'd like to have your mailbox painted, contact Kristina Gaines at AnswersforClaire@gmail.com.