Breve Carta a Papá 12 años después de su partida


Hace 12 años que te fuiste, el 16 de enero del 2005… víctima de un cancer de hígado fulminante que te llevó en cuestión de días, después de descubrir que tenías cancer. Nos sentimos tan impotentes!

Siempre pienso en ti, viejo. Te recuerdo: tus chistes malos con tu incredible sentido del humor (los cuales heredé), tu amor por la humanidad que siempre empezó por casa, y tu sabiduría que me ha guiado desde que te fuiste.

Mamá sigue deteriorándose. Hace una semana la mudamos a skilled nursing porque se negaba a recibir la atención que necesitaba en assisted living. No te voy a negar: es duro ver su mente apagarse poco a poco: siempre cree que soy mi tío. Pero una constante es que aún te recuerda: la tuya es una de las fotos que tiene en su cuarto.

En fin… te queremos y te echamos de menos, papá. No dejes de echarnos un ojo desde donde estás.

A World Diabetes Day doodle… 8 years in the making

I write this on November 14, World Diabetes Day. This day is marks the birthdate of Sir Frederick Banting, whom we credit for the discovery of insulin.

In April 2008, my wife Andreina and I co-founded Diabetes Hands Foundation. In October of that year, we partnered with many of our friends to ask Google for a World Diabetes Day doodle. That petition did not succeed.

Four years later, in 2012, we tried a different approach, deciding to ask Doodle for a Frederick Banting doodle. That petition (now with more than 15,000 signatures) also did not succeed.

Today, we wake up to the first ever Frederick Banting doodle…
world-diabetes-day-doodle-2016-frederick-banting and the level of awareness something as “simple” as a doodle is generating is mind boggling!

Thank you, Google! It took 8 years, but better late than never.

The day after the election…

Today, I have chatted with a number of friends who voted for Hillary around the country. Everyone I have talked to harbored a combination of disappointment and even fear, that frankly broke my heart.

You see… I am also disappointed. I have not been particularly discreet about my political views leading up to this election. I went as far as to write an open letter in Spanish (which I submitted to a few Hispanic newspapers) about my reasons for my vote this election. The version of the letter that I posted here earned me numerous attacks on Twitter. But I felt proud to be able to speak up.

I am heartbroken, because I remember in December 1998, when Hugo Chavez got elected in Venezuela, I had this same feeling… looking around me, and saying to myself “There’s no future! I am getting out of here”, not unlike the people that rushed to the Canadian Immigration website, crashing it last night while the results favoring Trump were pouring in. And I stuck to my plan: it took me over one year, but in January 2000 I came to this country.

3 years later, our son was born in American soil, and 14 years later, I became a citizen along with my wife. And yesterday I cast my first of many presidential votes to come.

As the final results began to sink in this morning, one phrase from Hillary’s concession speech stuck with me:

When I think back to what brought the country to where it is today, the one thing I can point back to is that not enough people voted. According to NPR, nearly half of adults registered to vote didn’t show up. It was the election with the lowest turnout since 2000, the previous most hotly contested election in American history.

So if there’s a lesson to take with us, remember: do not ever take for granted this incredible right we have in the United States. There are countries where the liberty to choose is being taken away, and we still have it in the US. And if you don’t believe positive change is possible after yesterday, consider that on the same day, we passed a soda tax all over the Bay Area, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio (a 7-term sheriff from Maricopa County, Arizona, accused of targeting Latinos) was voted out….

and if you need a lighter view of things to make you smile and wipe the tears (I know many of you cried today), check out Ellen DeGeneres’ amazing post-election message.

And no: I am not going to Canada! 😉

P.S. If this made you feel even an ounce better, please feel free to share it…