East Texas non-profit aims to help grieving parents

Team Sam to help grieving parents

DIANA, Tx. (KSLA) - Samuel James Elliott Martinez was born on August 15, 2016. His parents, Bernie and Janelle Martinez, never anticipated his life lasting just ten months.

“He was born with some unknown medical issues, so it was a medical struggle from the beginning of his life,” Janelle said. “He died from complications with several viral infections.”

But, during the Martinez’ final days and weeks with their little boy, a distinct issue emerged.

“It was very evident parents there struggled with all of the information provided to them, as they have to make life and death decisions,” she said.

“There are just so many unknowns, we didn’t know where to go to get him the care he needed,” Bernie added. “There wasn’t very much help from the hospital to get that.”

In honor of Sam, the Martinez’ established the Team SAM Foundation. SAM stands for ‘Searching Always for Miracles.’

“We wanted to help other families in that situation as support, as well as be advocates for them.” Janelle said. “We’ve now encompassed grieving families also.”

To aid families during a devastating loss, Team SAM hopes to give out 50 ‘Love Cash’ care boxes to area emergency rooms. These meaningful and carefully crafted boxes would be given to a family after the loss of a child. The box includes molds that can be made of the child’s hands and feet, a lock of hair, as well as grief counseling resources and a devotional.

“Being there, you’re scared, sometimes you don’t know what to ask and it can be intimidating to ask the physicians,” Janelle said. “Even just sitting next to a family and giving them that physical presence, that’s important.”

Team SAM has hosted two previous fundraisers and managed to donate CuddleCots.

“What we should be caring about is how we react to these families,” they said. “We need to come together and love on these families.”

The third annual fundraiser is taking place June 7th in Diana, Tx. Click here to connect with and support Team SAM.

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