After the state pageant ended, Mariah quickly got started preparing for the national pageant. She was excited that my stepmom was willing to help and although I was tempted to step in and warn her, I decided she was old enough to learn for herself. Things are never as they seem, or as promised.
We helped Mariah draft an email as a way to start contacting people. We were sure that she would get the help and support that she needed for the national pageant. We had our list of what was needed and our deadlines. She had two months to gain sponsorships. What we weren’t counting on was the fact that people “adults” don’t seem to understand English, can’t follow simple instruction or even read an email in it’s entirety. What we weren’t counting on was that adults today can’t seem to be bothered by listening to a little girl’s story. What we weren’t counting on was the lack of support from a community that was the only place she felt she belonged.
Mariah’s email was simple. She introduced herself and her title. She explained what she was working towards and the children’s foundation she was representing. She explained in brief why this foundation was important to her and what she was trying to achieve. She also gave a brief background of herself, her medical struggles and the hard work she’s put into this. She attached videos, new reports, and newspaper articles she’s been in. She sent out over 1,000 emails to people all across the country, all across Nevada and to every major organization/hospital/etc. affiliated with Celiac Diease (it’s research, treatment, support, gluten free food companies, etc.). After two weeks, she had no responses.
Mariah hit the pavement visiting local businesses in the hopes of having luck there. She was starting to feel positive after I had received a phone call that my stepmom has scored her an interview on KROQ (a southern California radio station). She thought that with the radio interview, the newspaper interviews she had just done and her guest appearances, someone would notice and help.
Someone did. Jennifer Harris wrote an article on my daughter in the hopes of helping her find sponsorships and support ( You can read it here ). Ms. Harris tweeted it posted it on Facebook. We did too. We were, and still are, extremely thankful for her support. The Tropicana Hotel and Casino purchased advertising space from Mariah, which pushed her closer to her national advertising goals. Celiac Chapter #14 purchased advertising space from Mariah as well. But that’s where it stopped.
Mariah got responses from her emails but none of them were positive. Even though she never asked for donations, that is how most people took it because they never bothered to read what she was asking them for.
1) Advertise your business through me
2) Sponsor me if you don’t need advertisement
3) if you can’t do either of the above, please pass on my information to friends, family and colleagues so my story and mission gets out
She got about two dozen decent responses that said they could help by passing along her information. That was great! But most of what she got were the email responses below -
“No”. “Don’t email me again”, “I don’t have time for this”, “Your cause doesn’t qualify for our list of important causes”, “I’m not sure my company would want to be bothered by this”, “I’ll report you if you email me again”, “Our company doesn’t support individual people”
REALLY? How could any decent human being respond to a child asking for help in any of the above manners? Why respond at all if that’s the nasty way you’re going to be? Some of these responses came from the gluten free/Celiac community. Way to be the “supportive” group you claim to be.
She went in to local businesses to talk to owners about purchasing advertisement and what she got was disturbing. Owners arguing right in front of her over who had to “deal with her” because they just didn’t want to be bothered. Owners asking her to come back at a specific time and then hiding from her in the back room when they see her walk through the door without trying to mask the mad dash out of sight. Owners lying to her face and saying they were just employees because they didn’t want to deal with her.
It made me sick.
My family? No help. As a matter of fact, we reached out to family on the East Coast who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease as adults and are all too familiar with the struggles Mariah has had. This is family that has way more money than they know what to do with and are constantly Facebook-ing things on medical awareness and support of their friends who were being active in the community.We couldn’t get an acknowledgment, a kind word or even get the to “Like” Mariah’s statuses on Facebook involving her fundraisers or anything.
It was about this time we realized we had never received the pageant pictures from my stepmom. She had never called back about the interview Mariah was suppose to have. She said she was going to check on the status of the pictures because we should have received them already. She stopped calling us altogether. And after numerous attempts of figuring out where these so-called “Ordered” pictures were, we contacted the company who took the pictures and found out that she never even called to order anything.
Mariah has asked her to call. No call.
She hasn’t been on Facebook.
Disgusted doesn’t seem to even cover it anymore.
That’s when the trouble with the pageant people began.