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Mac & Gaydos

SARCC volunteer and her family lose everything in house fire

Pakistan's Maria, 6, who is suffering from MPS a rare genetics disorder, poses for a picture in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Maria is just six years old but most of her young life has been spent in pain caused by a rare disease that will leave her unable to walk unless she has surgery. A U.S. hospital is willing to perform the surgery free of charge but the family has twice been refused a U.S. visa by the embassy in Islamabad and a third application has been submitted but Maria's father Shahid Ullah said Thursday he was told his application would take time. But Maria's surgery is scheduled for Nov. 2. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

PHOENIX — Valley resident Sandra Catalan has been a part of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) for the past seven years. She’s volunteered at KTAR’s annual Action for Autism Radiothon and even has a son with autism.

And now she needs your help.

While the cause is currently unknown, a fire flared up in Catalan’s garage last week — and burned the house completely to the ground.

“I don’t have any shoes, I don’t have clothes; everything was gone,” she told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Mac & Gaydos Tuesday.

Catalan is a single mother of five — ages 7 to 20 — and she and her family are currently staying with her pastors, as she seeks help for the next step in rebuilding. Friends have also donated clothes, money and food.

Her 20-year-old son was responsible for getting the younger children out of the house, but 12-year-old Leo may be suffering the most.

Leo has low-functioning autism, meaning he needs routine and familiar surroundings. He continues to ask Catalan when they can go home and where all of his stuff is.

An account has been set up at Wells Fargo where monetary donations can be made. The account number is 6945058292 under the name Sandra Catalan.

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