Darcy, Deanna & Tara


Bennington, VT

Being a single parent can be difficult. It’s especially tough for Darcy from Bennington, Vermont, who sees two of her three daughters followed closely by medical specialists at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) due to a rare genetic condition.

Deanna, 12 years old, and Tara, 11 years old, have Alport Syndrome. They have been seeing doctors at CHaD for many years for chronic concerns, but it wasn’t until Tara, who loves playing the trumpet and cornet in the community youth orchestra, started losing her hearing last year that doctors put it all together.

The family travels three hours between states for their specialist appointments.

“We have been back and forth over the roads to Dartmouth for more than a decade trying to figure this out,” said Darcy, whose head was so full with all the medical-related questions that go along with having sick children, she never thought to ask the hospital staff about other kinds of support. When she learned about Irving Oil’s Fuel the Care program, a small piece of stress was lifted.

“There were lots of times when we planned far in advance of an appointment to make sure we had enough gas for the trip,” said Darcy. “I had to take time off work, which means lost wages on top of the travel costs. It is such a big deal not to have to worry about that piece now. To know I’ll be able to fill up the tank when I get home and make it through the work week without needing to worry.”

Thanks to the great care at CHaD, the girls are now having their health appropriately managed and only need check-ups every few months. Which means more time spent at home with their older sister, Tea (15), doing the things they love. All three girls play instruments in the community youth orchestra – flute, violin and trumpet – and are actively involved in school and activities.

But no matter how busy life gets, these true Vermonters always make time to enjoy each other and the great outdoors. They cherish simple family moments spent on the hiking trail or camping in the wilderness.