Grand Rapids mom panhandles to raise money for daughter’s treatments

Posted at 2:35 PM, Jul 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-25 16:23:58-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A local mom is willing to do whatever it takes to get her daughter the help she needs, even if it means panhandling money on the streets.

Tarra Parks and her family are asking for help to save their little girl from Spina Bifida.

Elaina Parks - from YouCaring page

Elaina Parks is ten years old.  She has a hole in her spine and she's developing scoliosis and a malformation of her cerebellum is affecting her balance and motor skills.  She doesn't have a lot of feeling her the lower half of her body, but she is able to walk and run.

Elaina has been going through different therapies all her life and now the family wants to try a new, hopeful treatment known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  However, it is expensive and their insurance won't cover it.

"I said I'm willing to go and stand on the corner," said Tarra Parks. "Panhandlers do it.  If it's legal, why can't I?"

So, that's what she is doing.  She's recently been at Knapp's Corner and other locations on 28th Street.

"I did a classy way," said Tarra. "I had balloons out there just so I wasn't looking like a beggar."

Tarra also passed out "thank you" cards with her daughter's story on it.  It also pointed skeptics to their YouCaring page.

The family is hoping to raise more that $10,000 to cover their expenses.