For many, death can be an event that marks an ending, however, for my family it signified a new beginning.
On March 20th, 2013, my brother Gerardo Hernandez Tellez passed away, victim of several cancer tumors, and fought for more than 19 months against this disease through different treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and five surgeries.
During this time, the hope, love and generosity that marked his life and filled his spirit, made him share with us his last dream, before he left.
For this reason, my mother Maria Eugenia Tellez and myself, Mariana Hernandez founded the non-profit organization ANTES DE PARTIR A.C. (BEFORE YOU LEAVE) on June 16 th, 2014
Today a group of committed volunteers work with me, providing support to children, adolescents and adults who live with cancer, together with their families, in order to help them understand and handle the process of their diseases, so they can improve the quality of their lives.
“When you set your heart on something, there are no limits to what you can do”
Together we are ANTES DE PARTIR (BEFORE LEAVING)
To bring specialized attention in hospitals, home addresses and the association facilities, to patients and families that live and coexist with cancer, raising the quality of their lives through medical service, palliative care, psychological support and economical and spiritual attention, assuming our commitment of being present and supportive to each of them and their families during the process of the illness.
In 5 years’ time we aim to be the first option for palliative care for cancer patients in the final phase in Mexico City, and to expand our services to the six major towns with the highest rates of cancer in our country. We are committed to helping reduce the socio-economic differences in our country and get quality palliative care services to the most needy and vulnerable.
“A good person” is the word that everyone that met Gerardo Hernandez Tellez, frequently use to talk about him. Gerardo was a good man, a man of love and light.
Always loving, proper and present when anyone needed him. His words reflect without taking stance, describe and situate anyone who heard them.
Under the brother, son, friend, there was always a guide that didn´t mean to give instructions, but to set an example, and showed the proper way by being an inspiration. Gerardo was a good man, as he was always generous, loving, understanding, educated and very, very fun to be with.
As a sign of the joy that never left him under the hardest circumstances, he had an idea that he shared with his family. To found an institution that brings peace and serenity to cancer patients, so someone can remind them that before you leave, under any circumstances, there are always many things to do, to say and many, many others to feel.
Among those, one should get things settled, make peace with ourselves, with our life and with death, so we can reach fulfillment and light.
To have an impact on Mexico´s population through training and attention programs in order to improve the living conditions of cancer patients and their social settings. To provide information, orientation, comprehensive health services, social and cultural activities and to built an extensive supportive network. With a team of professional workers and volunteers, we can support, comfort, motivate, stimulate and nurture, both physically and emotionally, every person that requires this support due to their challenging social or economical status.
Before Leaving there are still many things to do, many this to say and many things to feel.
Before Leaving there are poems to write, mountains to climb, secrets to discover.
Before Leaving there are hugs to give and also to receive, there are kisses to steal and flavors to taste.
Before Leaving we still have time to invent, create, design, plan.
Before Leaving we have space for friendship and love.
Before Leaving there is music, colors, dreams, romance and ideals.
Before Leaving there is ME living in the universe of YOU and in the transcendence of US.
Before Leaving, live! And live Before Leaving!
Nieves Rion del Olmo