DEARBORN, Mich. - One local community is helping three children who experienced the sudden loss of their parents. The past month has been marked by overwhelming loss for the Cannizzaro children. A week before Christmas, 16-year-old Michael, 9-year-old Drako and 8-year-old Chasity of Dearborn lost their mother Nicki to ovarian cancer. A little over a month later, more heartbreak, their father Ray unexpectedly passed away from a pulmonary embolism.
"They're doing surprisingly better than I," said Shirley Sironen, the children's paternal grandmother.
Since the children's parents died, Sironen has stepped up to take care of them.
"I mothered two boys and I never thought I'd have to do it again," said Sironen.
Reeling from their mother's passing, donations poured in during the holidays. However, with the recent death of their father, they find themselves in need again.
I'm not asking for myself. I don't need anything. I'm asking for my grandchildren," a tearful Sironen told Local 4.
Alysia Schuler, whose part of Snow Elementary's PTA, is trying to help raise money for the family again.
"Anything I'm doing is only because if the shoe were on the other foot, I would hope somebody would be doing it for my children," said Schuler.
"I want them to have a bright future. Every day I say thank you God," said Sironen.
The children's father will be laid to rest this weekend. At least six different fundraisers are in the works.
Snow elementary will be accepting money, food and other donations for the children.
Items can be dropped in the school's main office or mailed to: Snow School, c/o Alysia Schuler PTA, 200 Culver Street, Dearborn, MI 48124.
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