Updated: Dec 20, 2022
We said a very sad final farewell to our beloved client Brian Garcia. As a client with Toward Maximum Independence (TMI), a nonprofit serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, our Integrated Work program assisted Brian with integrating into the community and making new friends. Our support focused on working with Brian to help him be more comfortable with socializing and to independently have conversations with others. We also focused on his safety including reminding him that he needed to keep his helmet on, which he disliked wearing, in order to protect his head due to him having seizures.
When Brian was just three years old, he had cancer but went on to survive and live to 28 years old. Sadly, he ultimately passed away due to a seizure.
“Brian will always have a place in our hearts,” said TMI Associate Division Manager Jasmine Oldham. “I will remember him for his kind heart and mischievous smile. You knew when you saw him that he was going to joke around or pull a prank on you or someone else. More importantly, you knew that he was having a good day.”
Brian will be remembered for his great sense of humor, always being ready to go with a smile on his face and for being a very caring person. He learned to integrate, express himself better, follow instructions, as well as to open up more to others and share. He loved basketball, enjoyed listening to music, doing puzzles, and shopping.
“Brian was always joking with me,” said his TMI Job Coach Sonia Tellez. “He would pretend he was upset, then all of sudden burst out laughing out loud. It always made me laugh. I will really miss him.”
Brian lived with his family who loved him dearly and always advocated for him. They were attentive to everything he needed and wonderful with communicating with him. In addition to his mom and dad, he had two brothers and one sister. His number one advocate was his mom Alma, who was dedicated to making sure Brian had anything and everything he needed to be happy.
“I admired Brian for giving his all to live his best life despite any health struggles he would go through,” added Jasmine. “He was truly a special person.”
Our condolences to Brian’s family, his TMI staff and all who knew and loved him. He will be missed very much. May he rest in peace.
Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing since 2000. In 2020, we launched Disabled Veteran Employment Services. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.