2015 Imagine Award honoree Alfredo Avendano Lucas.
It was love and hope for a better life that led Alfredo to the United States. Alfredo and his then-fiancée, Jaqueline, started their life together – finding work, getting married and starting a family. It was a happy time. Then in July of 2013, the Avendano family was facing the unthinkable. Jaqueline developed a fatal brain tumor at the age of 28. Alfredo quit his job to become a full time caregiver to his wife and to their children, Carmen (age 9) and Alan (age 4). Jaqueline was receiving care from Hospice, and it was the Hospice social worker that reached out to CHiP to provide health and parenting support to Alfredo. CHiP was able to provide a Spanish speaking team, and it was a great relief for Alfredo to have this additional support.
Like many families, Alfredo and Jaqueline had a traditional division of duties: Dad worked outside the home while Mom kept the household and childcare running smoothly. After Jaqueline died, the CHiP team was able to help with things like Alan’s preschool application and reestablishing a schedule of dental and well-child visits while Alfredo began the work of grieving.
Alfredo had some insecurity about suddenly becoming a single parent, but his CHiP team knew he was underestimating his ability to be a wonderful parent. He made his children his number one priority, and he was very interested in understanding their development and finding activities they could do together. He sought out support, including that which would help him navigate the world of a soon-to-be teenage girl.
Alfredo’s CHiP nurse, Susan, nominated him noting, “One of the most remarkable things to witness was Alfredo’s natural ability to deal with grief and loss. When the children needed to cry he allowed them space to cry. When they needed to laugh and remember, they told stories. He never shied away from talking about their mother, but he never forced them to talk if they needed solitude.” We are inspired by his example and honored to walk with his family in this difficult journey.