Saving Our Hero

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

The nuclear family is traditionally composed of a father, a mother, and their children. Today, there are a considerable number of single parents, who raise their children alone, or with the help of family and loved ones. Within many of our Latino families, the father remains the central figure, the “Superman” whose image represents respect, authority, and admiration.

Their lives can also swiftly change in an instant with an unexpected turn in which they will need the help of another hero, one who decides to give the most precious gift which will make it possible for them to continue adding to their life experiences with their families. Gift of Hope shares the story of Alex Rosales, who with his family confronted the biggest fight of his life with love and faith.

Alex was diagnosed with hepatitis in 1993. Upon receiving the news, and without any symptoms, his morale began to decline when he thought of his two cousins who suffered with the same illness, one of which passed away after not receiving a liver transplant in time. It was in those moments that his wife, children and his devotion to God gave him the strength to take care of himself and move forward.

Alex lost his job and home as a result of countless visits to the Doctor and missing many days from work; yet he never lost his faith in God, and that for him was the most important. And so it was, by way of a blessing that a doctor referred him to Rush University Hospital where in a matter of three months he was put on the waiting list for a liver transplant and subsequently received the organ, which would allow him to enjoy his health and family once more.

“Illness does not discriminate based on age, gender or race, and we never know which one of us or our loved ones may need an organ transplant. Latinos in particular are more susceptible to diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity, which can cause complications that lead to the need for a transplant,” expressed Raiza Mendoza, manager of Hispanic Affairs. “At the national level, there are currently 80,000 men on the transplant waiting list. Among men, kidneys, livers, and hearts are the most needed organs for transplants. Currently in Illinois, there are over 3,000 men awaiting a transplant,” concluded Mendoza.

The Rosales family is only one example of the vulnerability that we are all susceptible to. Gift of Hope reminds you to talk to your families about organ and tissue donation and the impact that such a generous and compassionate decision can have on the lives of many people. For more information about organ donation visit:

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