For Emmanuel and David Casasola, keeping their father’s legacy alive means watching his favorite sport, soccer, playing his favorite Beatles songs on the guitar, and giving back to the community as he did.
Jose Casasola was known for his generosity. One year before Christmas, he suggested the family forsake their own gifts and buy winter coats for his neighbor’s grandchildren because he noticed their need.
“Anybody who needed help, he was willing to step up and help out,” David said.
Two months after a heart attack in 2017, Jose passed away. His tissue donation enhanced the lives of up to 75 people.
“We later found out that some of his tissue went into dental product,” said Emmanuel. “Which was kind of beautiful because he was a dentist in Mexico.”
Emmanuel is the Executive Director of Global Quality at BioBridge Global, the nonprofit parent organization for South Texas Blood & Tissue and GenCure, and he said his passion for donating blood and tissue only grew after his father’s passing.
“It’s so important for there to be more representation in donors – minority donors – and it’s really cool to think that my dad was part of that,” Emmanuel said.
Jose was proud of his Mexican heritage. One memory the Casasolas will always joke about is their dad’s favorite soccer team was Chivas de Guadalajara. However, Jose had never been to Guadalajara.
“My brother and I, we’re actually fans of their biggest rival team (Club America),” Emmanuel said with a laugh.
Jose’s legacy lives on through the lives of his family, including three grandsons, his wife of 40 years, and countless other children and grandchildren he treated as his own.
“He was a family man. That was one thing about him – he loved his family,” David said.
Most importantly, Jose’s family will always remember how big his heart was.