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Camilo Villegas, wife Maria honor daughter with Mia’s Miracles

Camilo Villegas, wife Maria honor daughter with Mia’s Miracles

Camilo and Maria Villegas lived through the devastation of their daughter, Mia, going from a healthy baby girl to enduring months of treatments and surgeries after tumors were found on her brain and spine.

Then, after spending more than four months at the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, including 40 nights in intensive care, and undergoing five brain surgeries, Mia died July 26, 2020.

She was 22 months old

That experience for Camilo, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, and Maria was heart-wrenching, but also inspirational. Because it was those 163 days, from the time Mia was diagnosed to the day her fight ended, that the Jupiter couple realized, while nothing could be worse for parents than to see their child suffer through an incurable disease, they also were fortunate in a way so many other families are not.

“We were able to witness what most families go through when their children are in the hospital,” Maria said. “We were able to rent a nice house next to the hospital. We didn’t have to worry about any of our bills. We had amazing support from our family and our friends.

“I know the pain of losing a child, and I know the pain of having a child in the hospital,” she continued. “But I don’t know the pain of not having money to pay the bills. And I cannot imagine what that adds to the stress.”

Maria and Camilo did not allow that pain to define them. Instead, it was channeled into helping others deal with the financial burden of dealing with unimaginable, life-altering situations.

And carrying on Mia’s legacy.

Mia’s Miracles helps families

Mia’s death brought life to a foundation that has become the focus for Camilo and Maria. Mia’s Miracles was born to provide support — financially and emotionally — to children and families facing challenging circumstances.

“As hard as it was emotionally, we could focus 100 percent on our daughter,” Camilo, 42, said. “That’s not the situation for most people. It’s a complex world, it’s a tough world. It’s a world where people are very busy, have a million things to do.

“We just want to make it a little bit easier for those parents, for those nurses, for those kids, and bring smiles throughout their tough process.”

Mia’s Miracles has raised more than $2 million and is preparing for its first Mother’s Day fundraiser. The Miles for Miracles Fun Run & Walk is May 12 at North Palm Beach Country Club. Participants can choose between a 1-, 2-, or 3-mile walk or…


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