Gina was born with the odds against her as she entered this world with complications and disabilities, but that didn’t stop her from living her life to the fullest. A client with the Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) Independent Living Services program for more than seven years, Gina passed away on May 12, 2019. She will be remembered as a loving person that loved to sing and dance. Wherever she went she had a big smile that could light up any room. She always made sure to tell people, especially her family including her children and grandchildren, how much she loved and appreciated them.
To know Gina is to know that she loved her phone! She kept in contact with everyone she knew. She would start her day by calling and texting loved ones and the last thing before she went to sleep was talking to a loved one on the phone. Gina would go down the list calling everyone she knew just to say “how you?” and “I love you.” Just before leaving this Earth that was the last thing she was doing; calling everyone to tell them she loved them and showing off her fresh hairdo. Gina took pride in getting dressed and getting her hair done. She would say “I’m fine, huh?” and “I look good.” Gina was passionate about music and dancing. She would put her hands on her hips, sway to the beat and say “I still got it.”
Gina always dreamed of living in her own apartment. In March 2019, just three months before she passed away, TMI made Gina’s dream come true by assisting her with getting her own apartment in a nice area. Gina was working on furniture shopping with her TMI Facilitator, but sadly wasn’t able to complete furnishing her apartment.
In 2013, Gina began working at Vons despite her disabilities which made her feel proud. She continued working until her health declined. Gina continued to have a joyous spirit even on her most difficult days. She smiled through it all and focused on her family, who were everything to her. She will always be remembered for the love she showed toward them. Gina is survived by a large and loving family, including her four children, who will always remember her.
“Gina was like sunshine,” said TMI Case Manager Keltoum Cherki. “She is greatly missed.”
May she 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. 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 and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.