Dear Friends and Family,

There are events that change your life forever. It’s up to you if you allow them to change you for the better or the worse no matter how difficult they may be. My most impactful life event came September 1, 2010, when my son Mateo was diagnosed with leukemia. I will never forget that day, the feeling of my legs giving out from under me, hyperventilating so much that I couldn’t even call my husband to tell him to leave work. I had to have a friend call him for me. I can’t imagine how horrible that was for him but at that moment I couldn’t speak the words. I hadn’t even processed the possibility of what this all meant yet. We were fortunate enough that we got through this horrible disease and the even more horrible 3.5-year chemo treatment it took to beat it. We got through it together as a family with the help of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and Mateo’s amazing team of doctors of nurses there. Whenever I have a bad day, I think about how much worse it could be, how much worse it was for us from 2010 to 2013. This helps me stay grounded, keep my priorities straight and practice gratitude daily. I know people who were not as fortunate as me, they lost their precious children to this horrible disease and there is nothing I can imagine worse than that.

This year, we celebrated 5 years cancer and chemo free and that is a huge milestone for Mateo and our family. We decided to give back in our own way by forming a team to fundraise for the place that helped save my son’s life – Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation to ensure that we pay it forward to those who might not be as fortunate as we were to live in Miami with good health insurance and the means and luck to beat this disease. Mateo was selected as the ambassador aka superhero for the oncology department in Nicklaus’ flagship fundraiser Super Duper Fun Day which was held on November 17th in Coconut Grove. We had a goal of raising 5k to commemorate the 5 years cancer free and I’m happy to report that we surpassed our goal. Thanks to my amazing friends, family and colleagues we raised $6, 415 from individual donations and Tech Data matched our efforts with a charitable donation of $5,000 for a total of $11,415 donated to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation on behalf of Team Mateo.

I am eternally changed by this disease, diagnosis, and battle and I will never forget to be grateful for the simplest of things – the ability to kiss my children every night before they go to bed. The greatness of that simple act is not lost on me.

Thank you, Team Mateo, for joining us in paying it forward.

Click here to visit my personal page.
Click here to view the team page for Team Mateo (Teo the Great)

2018 Super Duper Fun Day
Team Mateo
2018 Super Duper Fun Day

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