We are Catiana Yovanni DelaPena’s family. We were honored by God to be given Cati as a daughter here on Earth on September 15, 2012. We cared for her for 6 years, 5 months, and 5 days. She left to be with Jesus on the 5th of June 2019 after drowning under the care of High Hopes Summer Camp in Cedar Park Texas. Through her journey, John, her sister Cairi, and I were happily immersed in a world not many get to experience. Much to our surprise, Catiana was born with Down Syndrome. We realized the world we knew had immediately changed. Cati helped us discover our strengths and made our family bold and fearless. She taught us how to advocate for the inclusion of children that in many eyes do not fit what the world calls “normal”. We learned of the vast segregation in schools and workplaces for children and adults who are differently abled. We also learned the beauty of connecting with parents, educators, and therapists who shared the same high expectations as we did for Cati. In education and in her social life, she succeeded far above anyone’s imagination. We always give God the glory for His works through her. Advocacy ran in our blood thanks to our Cati. The negligent behavior or the summer camp and also realizing the need to improve our water safety laws to protect Texas children, led us to begin Live Like Cati.
At this time John and I are advocating to make changes in through our Texas Legislature in order to improve water safety laws that would protect children. You can read a bit more about our personal work in Texas Politics through the Why we Advocate link. As we wait on Texas Legislature we want to make sure we are doing all possible to prevent drownings right now. Live Like Cati educates and equips summer camps all around Texas by showing the importance of water safety and the use of life jackets on non-swimmers. We not only deliver free life jackets to summer camps but we take the time to teach them skills that they could use to prevent a drowning from happening under their care. We believe water safety is important as it is the number one killer of children under 5 and the second of children under 15.
We will continue our work in water safety and we believe that anything is possible through faith; never underestimate the power of faith. We continue to live by those foundations through her non profit.
Kori and John Delapeña
Live Like Cati strives to bring hope, education, and advocacy for changes in our government in order to protect those that are the most vulnerable.