Jacksonville partnership helps families navigate legal issues complicating children’s medical care

One September day in 2017, the foundation of Marckly Charles’ world collapsed.

His widowed mother died at age 50 of a heart ailment, leaving him head of the household and parent figure for his three younger siblings. He had no relatives to help out.

Charles was 20.

“It was tough,” he said. “I didn’t know where to go or who to reach out to.”

Charles had a longtime goal — becoming a nurse — which kept him centered after his mother’s death. He and his eldest sister worked, and he paid the mortgage and other bills and kept the family steered straight ahead. But he encountered legal obstacles when he tried on his own to gain custody of his younger siblings, get his mother’s estate settled and obtain public benefits for the family. He started saving money for an attorney to help him navigate.

Freed to Run