Eye On Weather

52°F
Sponsored by

Foster family struggles to pay for funeral

CHAMPAIGN -- An area woman opened her heart and home to countless foster children through the years, but now she's the one who needs help.
CHAMPAIGN -- An area woman opened her heart and home to countless foster children through the years, but now she's the one who needs help. One of Mazue Chatman's foster daughters passed away last week, leaving behind a big bill to pay. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera has the story.

Mazue's trying to find money to pay for the funeral. The state can't afford to pay for funeral costs. Mazue says she can't either, so she's putting her faith in the community, hoping someone can help her through this tough time.

Most parents put pictures they're proud of on the fridge.

"We love to take pictures," said Mazue. 

But there's just not enough space on there for all of Mazue's children. Mazue has filled the walls of her dining room with fond memories of her kids, grandkids and an ever-growing number of foster children.

"Ooh, I could never, I couldn't tell you," said Mazue. "I've taken in so many children."

Some of those kids only stayed a night or two, but one of them, Aretha McClendon, never wanted to leave.

"She was a good person," said Mazue. "Aretha was real good. She fit right in with my family."

So Aretha stayed as part of their family, even after she wasn't a child anymore. And even after she had children of her own; twin boys.

Those boys have lived their entire lives in Mazue's home. They call her Granny. They say the best part of living with her is the love she gives them. That love is what made Mazue want to keep all these kids, especially after Aretha was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

"I just kept her until she passed last Thursday," said Mazue. 

Without insurance, her family is left to try to pay Aretha's final bill.

"We've been collecting money, people have been helping us raise money to bury her," said Mazue. 

Mazue says she's not sure how they'll pay for it, but they'll do their best.

Mazue has already started the paperwork to officially adopt the twins.

As for their birth mom, the funeral will cost about $5,000. There's a fund set up at Bank Champaign for those who want to help.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus

Do You Have a News Tip?


If you have any story ideas or a news tip,  let our news desk know.