As she walked around the back of the vehicle to climb into the passenger seat, a car speeding through the parking lot crashed into the minivan and severed Ponce's leg above her knee.
Ponce, who is from Mexico and speaks little English, lacked health insurance and a job. Her husband made a modest salary as a house painter.
But Ponce, 45, found help in her recovery from the tiny nonprofit
Out of a tiny office provided rent free on the ninth floor of
"Anyone that walks through this door, I guide them as to where they can go for health services -- for whatever they need," said
The group helped pay for a prosthetic leg and rehabilitation after Trabold saw Ponce's 9-year-old daughter pushing her in a rickety wheelchair at an
"God bless her. I cannot say that enough," Ponce said while sitting on a couch in her apartment. "She helped me out very, very much. ... I didn't have any money or know anyone."
Trabold enlisted the help of several area doctors who were friends of her late husband to provide charitable care.
In one case, a woman needed three pills at a cost of
Her organization limits aid to Mexican nationals with serious conditions because it can't afford to help people from other nationalities in an area with a fast-growing Hispanic population. Those who receive help aren't asked about their immigration status.
Trabold's husband, who died about 12 years ago, was an engineer for
Of the state's 18.8 million residents, about 15 percent -- or 2.9 million -- are uninsured, according to the
According to the state
Charitable organizations such as
"So the only alternative when they become really sick is the emergency room," he said, heightening the importance of organizations such as
Last year, a 28-year-old Mexican man who worked for an
"They gave me a discount," Trabold said. "Today, he is working and he is totally recovered."
The man, who didn't want to comment on his condition, now needs an angiogram at a cost of
"For these people,
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