By Agrippina Fadel
A few weeks ago, Sonja Bauman started a GoFundMe campaign for her parents Doris and Barry, who lost all their savings after falling victim to an international email scam tracked to Hong Kong.
Sonja’s friends are now collecting funds for her after another unthinkable tragedy.
Sonja’s fiancé Rafael Delgado died from a heart attack on his 37th birthday on November 19. The couple had been together for over 14 years and had an 8-year-old daughter, Sofia.
Sonja and Rafael met while working at Macy’s Coral Square men’s store and lived together at Flats on the Greens apartments in Tamarac.
“I feel like my life is a nightmare I cannot wake up from,” said Sonja, adding that Sofia has autism and she didn’t know how to tell her about her father’s passing.
Sonja’s friend Nikki Fajardo started the GoFundMe campaign for her this week and has already raised $2,525 out of the $10K goal.
She said Sonja “has suffered the worst tragedy to fall on a mother and spouse,” and while grieving the loss of her partner, she is also facing the real-life hardship of taking care of her child and expenses in a one-income household. Sonja is a part-time caregiver for the elderly and cannot work full-time because of the care her daughter requires and her autoimmune disease.
Fajardo said Rafael “loved his girls and was part of their glue.” He provided for the family financially, cooked meals, and supported Sonja on hospital trips every six weeks for her Crohn’s medication. “His loss is felt in so many ways by their family,” she added.
Fajardo said that everyone who knows Sonja knows she is one of the kindest and most loyal people one can meet.
“Her future is uncertain now, and she needs help keeping some normalcy and consistency for her special needs daughter.”
Fajardo is asking for assistance through this challenging time and the ability to get Sonja on her feet and adapt to this new life she is faced with; adding that with Florida rent prices going through the roof, rising grocery and gas prices, and the cost of insurance, handling all these expenses on a one income household with no forewarning is beyond difficult for anyone.
“Anything will help. Thank you for supporting one of the best women I know through her hardest times,” Fajardo added.
Sonja’s parents planned to set up a college fund for their granddaughter Sofia before losing $99K of their life savings to an email scam.
“You hear about these stories of people getting scammed online all the time, but you never think it can happen to your family. My parents are great, hard-working people, and they were victimized by criminals,” said Sonja.
A Coconut Creek High School graduate, Sonja grew up in Margate in a little duplex near Southgate and 441, where her parents still reside. They are now considering selling their cars and the house the family lived in since the 1980s to cover the bills.
Both Sonja’s are her parents’ GoFundMe campaigns are still open, and the family appreciates the community’s help.
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- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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