'I just want my family back': Woman pleads to reunite Puerto Rican family in Oregon
SALEM, Ore. —
Michelle Pineiro is counting her blessings. She’s staying in a duplex with her cousin in Salem with electricity, running water, and food to eat.
“I can't help but feel guilty that I cannot do more for my family,” she said
Her wife Beatriz, three sons and two dogs are stuck in Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Irma, Michelle says Hurricane Maria took everything they had.
“Our family endured two hurricanes. Not one, but two,” said Pineiro. “That was the worst 12 hours of my entire life. You could just hear things breaking. The wind sounded like women screaming in the middle of the night. I still have nightmares.”
Her family lives that nightmare to this day: no running water, no stable power source, limited food.
“My family is eating one meal per day,” said Pineiro.
Their home in Tao Baja - just a half hour outside San Juan - still stands, but everything inside is ruined.
Pineiro says they're not getting any help from FEMA.
“The claims have been denied. I'm not the only one. They've all been denied. We've appealed,” said Pineiro.
She was able to get off the island for a medical treatment on her immune system, but the rest of her family couldn't afford to come with her. She hasn't seen them since October 31.
“That's all I want. I just want my family back and I need my family,” said Pineiro. “I don't want to give up. I know there's hope out there, we just need a chance.”
Pineiro has set up a GoFundMe page to raise enough money for her family to reunite in Oregon.