These two crazy cats are who I call Mom and Dad, Nancy and Ramon Mayo. Now while the picture of them getting up on some rocks for their daughter’s hair brained scheme for a photo shoot isn’t enough to put them into rockstar status (considering my mother would rather be set on fire than have her photo taken), they’re background story and how we got to this point on a beach in front of a camera for Cela New York will put them there.
The past few years has been very difficult for my family- actually ever since my father’s first heart attack at the age of 46 which required a triple bypass among a series of other maintenance procedures, things have been very touch and go for quite a while. My mother, the true pillar of the family managed to take care of three children while working our family’s construction business in my father’s absence and also taking care of my ailing grandmother simultaneously. Not to mention, she did all of this without a nanny or babysitter and had dinner on the table every night. That kind of dedication to familial duty is something I will never forget and I strive everyday to be half the woman she is. I may be biased, but she is superwoman to me and always will be.
Fast forward to 2008 and my father was struck with a terrible case of pneumonia which left him hospital ridden for a month and did so much damage to his heart that a few months later after moving doctors and going to New York Presbyterian Hospital, my father received a defribulator which would send shocks to his heart if ever it stopped beating. In his true Spaniard fashion, he returned to work one week later and began care under the incredible Congestive Heart Failure team at New York Presbyterian, headed up by Dr. Evelyn Horn. They have monitored and given such incredible care to my father that my thank you’s to their team will never be enough. Just know that I am forever indebted to you for giving me more time with my father.
And now on to 2012. Earlier this year due to his failing heart, the doctors at NYPH not only put him on the transplant list but also gave him an LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) which aids in taking over the function of pumping of the left side of his heart. This device and the smart thinking of the NYPH staff not only gave my father a bridge to a transplant (i.e. more time to wait for a match) but also gave him a better quality of life than he had prior to this device. Two weeks in the hospital and my Dad was out (if it was up to him he’d be running out he hates hospitals). Within days we saw improvement in his mental clarity and also in the entire way his body was functioning. Truly a medical miracle.
So finally to the two super models you see above, I convinced my parents to do a photoshoot along with my other two best friends for bags that they inspired- The Ramon Traveler is the black bag my Dad has and my Mom is holding both the Calli and the Nancy is two different pictures. What makes this picture even greater is that my father had a stroke exactly one week before this picture was taken but was determined to do whatever it takes along with my mother to help her out (when really this whole thing was just like one giant present to me).
This is why organ donation is so important. The charity that my Fashion’s Night Out event is supporting is the New York Organ Donor Network but there is one in every state so please just google and do it.You never know the lives you can save, the time you can give a complete stranger with their loved ones or help someone live a fuller longer life. If you are not already an organ donor (CHECK YOUR LICENSE or state registry) or if you’re in New York go to http://www.SaveLivesNewYork.org.
Save lives, give time. It only takes a minute. Thank you all for reading this and I hope I have at least inspired you to think about the option of organ donation.
Until next time kiddies-