Picture: From left to right Irene, Juanita, Joey, Josie, Irma, and Javier in back row
All of us celebrating Joey’s Sports themed 51st birthday party in 2017
We are a family made up of six siblings, our father, our spouses and our children. Aurelia, our beautiful mother, lost her battle with Huntington’s Disease (HD) in 2009. Over the last six years, brother Joey, and sisters, Irene and Josie, have each been diagnosed with HD, and all three are symptomatic.
Our mother, Aurelia, was a very beautiful, strong and determined woman. It was extremely difficult to watch the manifestation and progression of this horrible disease in her life. She and our father, Concepcion, emigrated to Southern California from Nochistlan, Zacatecas, a small town in Mexico. Though they had little education they did not let that stop them; they worked extremely hard to not only provide for all of us, but also to realize the American dream.
In his younger years Joey was very athletic and loved playing all sports. He especially loves basketball, baseball, and football. Although more reserved, his love of sports and being part of such a large family helped him enjoy a very active social life. As he matured he was known as just being a nice, kind, sweetheart of a guy; the kind of neighbor you could ask for help and enjoyed family gatherings. Though he can no longer play sports, Joey still enjoys watching any and every kind of sport on TV.
Irene has always been very passionate, and self-determined. Her primary drive was for the care and welfare of children. Her dream was to become a teacher. She attended college and earned her Liberal arts bachelor’s degree from Cal State Long Beach. We believe that Irene’s sheer determination is what will keep her fighting this disease for as long as she can.
Josie, being the baby of the family, has of course always been everyone’s sweetheart. In high school she was very well liked, kind and friendly; she was elected Homecoming Queen her senior year. After high school she attended USC. Josie became an OT (Occupational Therapist) and advanced in her career, becoming the supervisor of the OT’s at the hospital she worked at. She also found love and married her husband Felipe; they have three children, Amanda (now a sophomore in college), Yvonne (now a high school senior) and Junior (4th grade).
Although Joey, Irene and Josie are currently facing new and different challenges daily, they each remain hopeful and their faith in God is steadfast!
As with most families, children grow up and start their own families and lives; our family is no different. While we may not all live as close to one another as we would like, we all do our part to be there for one another. We also make a point of enjoying time together as a family, remembering our younger years, sharing memories with our children and creating new memories that our children will remember when they have grown and are raising their own families. For a number of years our entire family has supported HDSA and the Orange County Chapter in their quest for a cure by participating in every event possible, meeting new people, making new friends and gathering memories along the way. This walk will be one memory we will all cherish for a very long time to come.