Each day starts anew on the small Puerto Rican island of Vieques still emerging from devastating hurricanes more than a year ago.
On the morning of Jan. 17, 2019, a welcomed visitor arrived offering a little help and hope.
Grand Blanc resident Tina Eisenbeis arrived from 2,000 miles away.
“It’s surreal, like how did we get here,” Eisenbeis said.
A year ago, her 10-year-old daughter London died from an undetected heart condition.
In a sea of painful grief, a new purpose has washed ashore for this devastated mom. She's healing her own broken heart by helping others.
Every step she takes is driving her to let the world know about London. She formed the London Strong Foundation.
It caught the attention of a woman on social media who once lived in Mid-Michigan.
"I reached out to Tina and started talking about things and since we are on the island I thought maybe she would want to get away from it," said Sarah Jarvis, owner of the VHS Who Let the Dogz Out store on the island.
Eisenbeis said she wanted to get away, but only if it fulfilled her purpose. She wanted to teach life-saving skills to island children the same age as her London.
On a hot day, huddled under a car port on a street where most buildings still don't have power, Eisenbeis demonstrated C.P.R. and how to use an automated external defibrillator, or AED.
"She (Tina) was very clear on the steps they needed to take. She was really loving with the kids. She allowed them to enjoy the experience," said Letecia Gonzales, the children's teacher.
Eisenbeis is making sure these children can use these life-saving skills someday if needed, by donating the right supplies to the only fire department on the island.
With only a few AEDs known to be in Vieques, Eisenbeis was happy to donate a critical battery to get the Vieques Fire Department’s operating again.
It’s equipment she hopes will help keep another parent from being forced to live with the heartache she feels every day.
"This is the thing that makes the difference. We don't have to do a lot of things or a big thing," Commander Francisco Peterson Montijo said.
Eisenbeis' journey didn’t stop there. London's legacy is now bringing care and concern to the helpless animals at the Vieques Humane Society.
"Life on this island for these animals is always difficult,” said Tom Wright, vice president of the Vieques Humane Society.
Wright says there is a cultural difference in how animals are viewed on the island.
“It's a place where animals are not treated as pets. They are generally treated as utilitarian or necessary evils," Wright said.
That is something that is hard for Eisenbeis to understand, especially knowing London lived for taking care of animals.
“She (London) just wanted to help! She said ‘I want 100 cats someday! I want to help everybody, all the kitties and dogs,'" Eisenbeis said.
Eisenbeis has also made it part of the London Strong Foundation’s mission to spread awareness about helpless animals.
”What Tina is doing with the foundation is incredible and that little portion she is giving to us means so much to us cause we are a forgotten island,” Jarvis said.
The profits of Jarvis' store benefit the Vieques Humane Society. She asked Eisenbeis if she could sell London Strong apparel at the store.
“This is the only way we can get the animals the vet care and the food that they need to get them homes off and on the island,” Jarvis said.
“I mentioned giving them 20 percent of the proceeds to help the humane society here cause that's what London would love to be doing if she was here,” Eisenbeis said.
Eisenbeis hopes she's on the right path to finding her own purpose by doing what she believes London would be doing if she were alive today.
“Being in places that we would never be before, it helps the humane society in the area and it helps the foundation. I know London would've loved every minute of it," Eisenbeis said.
Eisenbeis is already planning to return to Vieques to host a London Strong Road Race in 2020.
She is also asking students and parents to wear light blue London Strong shirts on Feb. 27, 2019. That is the one-year anniversary of London’s death.
You can learn more about the London Strong Foundation by clicking here.