Lifestyle & Human Interest

20-Year-Old Raising 5 Siblings After Parents Die of Cancer, Strangers Touched by Story Gift Her New Car


Most 20-year-olds are busy at school or learning about the work world. There’s this generally held belief that a 20-year-old doesn’t really know much about life yet, and someone in their early 20s is just figuring things out.

Samantha Rodriguez didn’t have that luxury.

At the (relatively) young age of 20, Samantha had to step up for her family in a big way, by taking on the care of her five siblings, the youngest being 6 and the oldest 15.

The young woman from Orange County, Florida, had to take on the role of mom and dad after both parents passed away from cancer.

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The community has been incredibly supportive of Samantha and her five charges ever since last December, when the Orange County Sheriff’s Office decided to surprise them with a Christmas miracle.

The Ocso Aviation Unit decided to chip in with a gift of their own: a helicopter ride! The six Rodriguez children even discovered a pile of wrapped presents just for them.

“Doing everything on my own is very hard,” Samantha admitted to WZZM.

Once the story and video was shared on social media, many viewers were impressed with young Samantha’s responsibility and sacrifice.

The family’s story even prompted a few generous anonymous donors to pitch in to pay for something that would be very useful to the family: A new car.

“You don’t know how much this means to us,” Samantha said. “It’s such a big help, really.”

“Doing everything on my own is very hard but I’m so glad to have people like you guys in my life.”

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The new Nissan Versa was presented to Samantha at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the video of the surprise reveal has since gone viral.

Some people have pointed out that the car only has five seats and there are six children total, but a new car is a new car and Samantha certainly seemed grateful for the gesture.

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