BY Amanda Lozano
A daughter’s selfless gift created a mother’s legacy.
Organ, eye and tissue donation allows individuals to have a quality of life they may not otherwise have. Teresa de La Cruz experienced this because her daughter Valerie selflessly donated a kidney when she needed it most.
Valerie didn’t pass away, she just wanted to give her mother a second chance at life. Valerie’s selfless act cemented one thing: Teresa wanted to pay it forward by donating her tissue when the time came. “She wanted to be able to spread love and wealth, if you will,” Valerie said.
Teresa had numerous health issues over the years and because of that, Teresa knew her organs would not be eligible for donation, but she remained steadfast: whatever tissue she could donate that could help save a life would be.
Teresa received her kidney in 2015 and lived for six more years. Teresa unfortunately passed away on September 12, 2021. But she’s fondly remembered by her two children Valerie and Asencion, lovingly nicknamed Chon.
Teresa loved sewing, and murder mysteries, and had a sense of humor and wit to boot, they share.
“She was very quick on her feet for a comeback. She’d light up a room when she was around anybody,’ Valerie said.
“She was such a humble person, so down to earth and likeable,” Chon remembers about Teresa.
“What would mom do?” is something the siblings always take into consideration.
She was a dedicated paralegal and an even more dedicated mother. Chon implores others to really cherish their parents, even when sick and ailing, “You gotta hold on to them. Have patience. Take your time with them. You only get one mom and dad.”
The siblings recently received news from the Texas Eye Bank that Teresa’s corneas helped somebody’s vision and were delighted.
“She still lives on. It is a big win for our family,” the siblings agreed.