Live Like Cati is about loving unconditionally. It’s about seeing people through God’s eyes, not ours. It’s about not excluding people because they make you uncomfortable; include them because you don’t know where they are in their walk. Share the gifts that God has blessed you with others. By doing this, you bless others and become the hands and feet of Jesus. Share what you have learned and don’t let those lessons stop with you. Pass on the knowledge so others can also enjoy the benefits of knowing.
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 5 th of June 2019. 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. I remember being mad at God for not giving me what, in my mind, was a perfect child. I cried every night for a few weeks. Then, one day, in a conversation with my grandmother, she spoke the perfect words of wisdom. She told me “You need to know that she is a gift from God and God does not make mistakes”. From that day forward I trusted that God would guide us through this new chapter in our lives.
God answered that request. He gave our family overflowing favor, joy, fearless hearts, and a faith so strong, we experienced mountains moving. Cati introduced our family to a world that is pure and full of acceptance, kindness, and empathy. She did not see color, race, disability, nor made any distinctions between people. To give you an example of this, I remember sitting in my doctor’s office one morning. I had her with me and gave her some books to play with. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man sitting in the lobby and his skin was red and shedding. I do not know what disorder he had, but my human intuition was to get away. As I headed over to sit down, Cati immediately runs over to this man and sits on his lap. She not only begins talking to him, but hugs him. As a protective mother, my first reaction was “Oh no, you are going to get what he has!” As I hesitated to get her back, I remember hearing God saying “This is how we should all love”, unconditionally. Cati gave my life a purpose. She helped me discover my strengths and made me bold and fearless. I learned how to advocate for the inclusion of children that in many eyes do not fit what the world calls “normal”. I learned of the vast segregation in schools and work places for children and adults who are differently abled. I also learned the beauty of connecting with parents, educators, and therapists who shared the same high expectations as I did for Cati. In education and in her social life, she succeeded far above anyone’s imagination. We always gave God the glory for His works through her. Our baby girl amazed so many individuals. She graduated Kindergarten with her peers on the morning of May 31, 2019. Cati was included fully with her general education peers and was a leader in her class and an amazing reader!
We give praise to God for allowing us to be her parents. I give Him praise for equipping us to continue this journey. Through LiveLikeCati, we hope to bring hope, advocacy, and courage to those who need it. We will continue to keep her name alive and know we will see her again soon.
Colossians 3:1-4 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
Live Like Cati, strives to bring hope, advocacy, and courage to children and adults throughout Texas. We will continue to pursue what Cati brought to this community. She taught many how to Love one another unconditionally, no matter race, color, ability, or status in life. This life is very short compared to what eternity awaits. Sacrifice a little bit of you to make a big impact in someone else.
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Email us at : firstname.lastname@example.org By Mail: Live Like Cati, P.O BOX 2921, Cedar Park Texas, 78630
Live Like Cati is a qualified tax – exempt organization, as defined in Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax ID # is : 84-4504599