Communication tool stolen from
cerebral palsy student
By: Clara Garcia
"Casa Colorada Melinda Benitez has lived her entire 22 years with a positive
attitude and the determination to learn as much as she can.
But since she was an infant, she has had to work harder than everyone else to
achieve those goals.
And now, someone has derailed her process when they stole a vital tool that
assists her in everyday life.
According to a police report, an unknown person broke into her home on Storey
Road in mid-April and took her laptop computer and her Chat PCII, a hand-held
device essential for Melinda to communicate with the outside world.
Benitez, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was born, cannot walk,
cannot talk and cannot believe someone has taken something so valuable to her.
Now, she can't afford to replace the $3,000 device.
Her uncle, Isreal Benitez, said that while their home-owners insurance will pay
half of the cost to replace the Chat PCII, they still can't afford the remaining