I was born in Caracas, Venezuela although most (if not all) of my family comes from Panama. I came to the United States, born a citizen through my parents who had been naturalized before the time of my birth when I was 6 years old.
When my mother was 3 months pregnant with me, my brother was FINALLY diagnosed with a genetic condition called Cystic Fibrosis (CF). At the time, we treated it mostly with inhaled medication and did not really know all the complications that would arise from it. But because my mother was pregnant with me, she then knew to test me as well. At birth, I was given a sweat test and tested positive as well for CF. But my family wanted to keep our lives as normal as possible and while that did not help my brother who had gone so long without any treatments, it did help me. I pretty much went without any symptoms at all for decades.
I was raised in the most beautiful place on earth, South Florida. My family planted their roots in Plantation — a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. We lived literally 10 minutes from the Atlantic ocean with some of the best beaches in all of North America. With South Beach (in Miami) only about 50 minutes south of us, we really were at the center of art, culture, diversity, and growth. It is unfortunate that my family broke apart shortly after coming here. But there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and for me, that light was the first love of my life, Luke.
Luke and I were together for 22 years, from the time I was 14 to 2009. He saw me through some of the most turbulent times in my life, from the death of my mother to the death of my father, to the long-fought battle of my father’s estate with my stepmother that went on for 9 years, to my daily struggles with CF. He was there through it all, including my jet setting and globe-trotting in my pursuit of a childhood passion… archaeology. Unfortunately, my husband was killed in a horrible semi-truck accident that left a very young widow.
Despite all the challenges of my life, I did manage to go to school, graduating high school early at the age of 16 and pushing through college, then university, all the way to a Doctorate’s Degree in Ancient Middle Eastern Civilizations — aka Egyptology. I was always fascinated by the world of ancient times, most especially Egypt since women were treated as equals and men could open their love to other men, women love other women and have multiple partners, and no one batted an eyelash. I thought to myself, “How could we have basically reversed as a civilization on what was already the norm?” Just baffling to me and it long held my interest. Of course, however, someone with CF couldn’t really be in the trenches among dust and mold, so I had to find a way to reinvent myself. So I landed on technology, naturally!
Over a decade ago in 2009 I moved to New York City and lived across the Hudson in Jersey commuting to NYC’s Time Square to work for EMC doing SharePoint consulting as a solutions architect. I still kept my own consulting company and decided to move to NY permanently when I met the second love of my life, Jake. I moved just one hour east of the City in a township called Stony Brook with my new husband and my new family. One that I love very much. Recently we have decided to move to the suburbs of Phoenix, AZ in a town called Gilbert. In Arizona, the climate is much more conducive to patients with breathing issues because of the lack of humidity in the air. So my husband and I are now living in the town of Gilbert, with our two cats. We do consider ourselves to be “New Yorkers” however and look forward to visiting our family in NY as soon as my health stabilizes. That’s the hope anyway!
This journey chronicles much of my life through my health challenges, the loss of most of my family, and my desire to keep living life to its fullest. My story is a difficult journey through disease, loss, grief, death, and abandonment. I am sharing my story for the many folks that have had similar overwhelming circumstances in their life and need someone to relate to or someone that has walked in their shoes. I can say that it is my hope that through my story, and the telling of it, not only do others find some peace, but I myself do as well.