Adriana was born February 21, 2011 at University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. She came into this world about a month early and weighed 4lbs, 9ozs. Her courage and strong personality (which come from mom) amaze us everyday. She was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Type II in June 2012. Her mom and I are both carriers of the faulty gene, and we passed it on to her. The doctors tell us she may be able to stand on her own for short periods of time, or maybe take a few steps. We see a different future; we have to.
Santiago was born November 24, 2008 at Littleton Adventist Hospital in Littleton, Colorado. He’s a very loving — and challenging — little boy! He’s in his 3rd year of the terrible two’s. Seriously though, he’s also very strong-willed, like his little sister. And, like every big brother, he’ll be her protector. I feel his role will be a bit different, given Adri’s condition, but we know he’ll be strong for her. We have not had him tested yet to see if he is an SMA carrier, like mom and me. Children’s Hospital in Denver will not test children unless they exhibit SMA symptoms, which Santiago does not do. We still struggle with the decision of whether or not to have him tested.
My wife Gaby was born in Lima, Peru in 1975. She moved to Denver Colorado in 1998 to study English and eventually get her Bachelor’s degree in Finance. Her brother and his family already lived in Golden, just outside of Denver, and at the urging of some family friends, she decided to leave her country and give the United States a try. After graduating from Metropolitan State University in Denver, she went to work briefly for Janus and then spent over five years at the Western Sugar Cooperative in Denver. After her breast cancer diagnosis, she understandably struggled with returning to work. And, after Adriana’s SMA diagnosis, she struggles even more. We’re hopeful that after we settle in to our life in Lima, and as Adri gains more independence and begins attending school, Gaby will be able to explore and plan her return to the workplace — on her terms.
My name is Carlos. I was born in McAllen, Texas; raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and for the last 14 years, I lived in Littleton, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. I graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1992 with a Journalism degree, and after working in the family business (my parents owned three Spanish language radio stations), I moved to Austin and then Houston and then ended up in Colorado. My little sister graduated from University of Colorado Dental School, and I enjoyed Denver when I visited her. So, I decided to move there in 1998. I met Gaby in 2001. I’ll never forget being stunned by her beauty………..and not so stunned that she had a boyfriend. Time passed with us becoming good friends. When she became singe again, I made my move (those of you who know me can stop laughing now!). My moves as a single man were few to none. We’ve been married nine years now; like any couple, we’ve had our highs and lows, our share of joy and pain. And although lately, we both feel lost at times, we’re lost together.