In memory of Maria Ramos aka WonderWoman
Thank you for taking the time to read my mother’s story below and to help me raise vital awareness and funds to help conquer Sjögren’s (a terrible disease that led to my Mother’s passing). If able, please consider donating to my page or registering yourself by joining my team, Maria’s Goonies. You will be not only supporting my efforts but also honoring the memory of my Mother. Your support would mean the world to me, my family and other Sjögren's patients who struggle with this complex, serious, systemic and prevalent disease.
Here is my mother, Maria’s story:
“Goonies never say die” - Mikey Walsh
One of my mother’s favorite movies was The Goonies. Her favorite quote was from the character Mikey Walsh. I can remember how she lit up whenever the movie was on T.V & to be honest, I fell in love with it too. Maria was always a fun and compassionate person to be around. She always lived to enjoy life and was extremely generous to everyone. If my mother didn’t know you, she made sure she got to know you. Maria was always very family oriented and believed in helping her fellow man. The countless number of gifts she purchased to give to family, friends and neighbors, etc. always came from her heart & the intent to make sure everyone could live a happy life.
The reason I walk is not only because Maria is my mother. It is that she was an advocate for herself, her Sjögren's disease and interstitial lung disease community . My mother was a mother of 3 and a devoted wife who gave up a prestigious career to raise her children . She then went back to work several years later and was still present for her children every step of the way. My father also had a health scare prior and during my mother’s diagnosis. Maria was an exceptional mother and wife. Although Maria was diagnosed in 2008 with Sjögren’s, she continued to live life, perhaps even fuller than she ever had.
Maria’s full diagnosis took a few years. She was misdiagnosed with Lupus & Sarcoidosis initially. Sjögren’s unfortunately affected my mother devastatingly. My mother required 24/7 oxygen use a few years after diagnosis. Maria was also diagnosed with interstitial lung disease officially by 2010. In April of 2013 Maria ended up in the hospital due to trouble breathing and feeling extremely weak. She was intubated for several weeks. Although Maria had a 5% chance of surviving she pulled through. The doctors & staff were shocked . Maria had a tracheotomy and also had to learn basic motor skills again such as walking, talking, texting, writing, etc. Candy Crush was a big part of my mother’s recovery. Maria unfortunately had to retire due to her medical condition but found a new lease on life through talk shows. She was an avid talk show attendee and also advocated for the Lung Force Walk NY.
In April of 2020 Maria would once again fight to survive. Maria had to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 and pneumonia. The doctors again prepared us for the worst. After being intubated for 9 days Maria woke up. It was a terrifying experience to have a loved one in the hospital during the COVID pandemic. Maria unfortunately took a huge hit physically and would later be diagnosed for a heart condition at her next hospital stay (not disclosed to patient/family upon diagnosis).
After being at home since being released at the end of May 2020, Maria unfortunately had a fall in February that led to a serious injury. Maria was admitted and in critical condition. After receiving the Jaansen Vaccine in May & a late approval for a lung transplant evaluation obtained in June, Maria’s health declined dangerously by Mid-May. While Maria was accepted to Beth Israel hospital in Newark, NJ for a lung transplant evaluation, she unfortunately passed away during the process on June 27th,2021 at the age of 56. There is a lot to Maria’s journey that will be shared through Maria’s Goonies Advocacy.
Thank you again for reading my mother’s story and helping me raise awareness about this terrible disease!
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