Our Family

Adri the cheerleader 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.

santi homework

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.

adri1My 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.

carlosMy 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.

4 thoughts on “Our Family

  1. Hello Carlos and Gaby! I so much enjoy reading your blog to catch up on how Adri is doing and, in general, your life in Peru…even though I shed tears at times; but that’s OK as the ‘gift of tears’ is a good thing. As Monsignor Leone reminded me often, it shows that you feel compassion as well as joy! Reading about your journey of struggles (Adri’s SMA, Gaby’s cancer, your job search), as sad and difficult as it is for your family, gives others hope and strength to know that we can get through anything with God’s love and lots of prayers…how can we not feel blessed that we do not have those struggles and how can we not be thankful for what we do have?! Those who’s lives are ‘not as they had planned’, especially due to caring for their child who has special needs (like you and Gaby), are an inspiration to the rest of us as you ‘GET IT’ – you choose to put your TRUST in GOD and do whatever it takes to keep forging ahead to the best of your ability (that’s sharing your FAITH right there!); you know how to LOVE unconditionally, you allow others the opportunity to ‘practice our faith’ by praying and/or reaching out to help others in need wherever possible… We thank you for sharing your journey so that we can walk it together; we are so blessed and thankful to be in your lives! Love to you all and may you continue to feel God’s presence as he carries you through the times you need it the most (remember the Footprints poem). You are a source of strength for others to witness; God bless you! Love and prayers, Karen & Mike

    • Karen and Mike, your words touched us deeply, and we too are thankful that you have, and continue to be, part of our lives! I find myself rereading your note when things get tough, and it helps tremendously. Much love to you both! Carlos & Gaby

  2. Hi Carlos & Gaby,
    You know you’re part of an elite club when you see the words SMA and you know what they stand for. I have a neuro-muscular disease called Dermatomyositis and am a member of the local Muscular Dystrophy Association. We have an annual Christmas party where my daughter meets up with her friend who has SMA. MY daughter has a few medical issues relating to her digestion and my son is a bit difficult. I had chemo 2 years ago to treat the dermatomyostitis which was starting to affect my lungs. So, I feel we have a bit in common. I’ve ended up with some chemo brain issues and haven’t worked since and the kids seem to need me too. My plan is to somehow make an income through my writing but seem to have crippling self-doubt or something. That said, I think I’ve gained some momentum lately and am feeling more optimistic.
    Anyway, I’m sorry that you’ve ended in up in such a hard place but encourage you not to give up.
    Love & God Bless,

    • Thank you, Rowena, for taking the time drop us a line! The words of encouragement, prayers, and support we receive daily are what get us through the hard times. So, I thank you for sharing a little bit of your life with us (and the world). I wish you luck with your writing career; the talent is obviously there 🙂 I’ll be following along! Prayers and strength to you and your family!

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