The first time Jasmine met my (now) husband Gil, she was about three years old. I'll never forget her beautiful, squinty eyes that show her joy better than any smile I've ever seen. She wasn't shy, she wasn't afraid, she was pure love. She ran to Gil with open arms and let him lift her and she greeted him with the biggest embrace I've ever seen from a child meeting a stranger for the first time. Ever since then my heart leaps when I see this girl. She comes from a family of love and therefore is love.
She also comes from a family of musical talent and God blessed her equally. Her dad, Matthew, and I grew up together as cousins but more like siblings. He would take me fishing with him to carry his tackle and then he'd give me the fish to take home. We played with our other cousins long into the evening - baseball, football, cops and robbers, riding bikes down the caminito. He loves music and has always been a great musician. His daughter inherited both his joy for life and his music. His wife, Janice, and other children, Matthew (Tato) and the little one, Christian, make up one amazing family. One thing that has always made me beam with pride is how they make time for each other no matter what. Matthew and Janice have always put their family first. They spend time together enjoying the outdoors - hunting and skiing, going on vacations, and supporting the family band.
The first time Jasmine sang A capella for us I was in complete awe. She was just a little girl with such a huge voice. I saw big things for her and she loved entertaining. As life would have it, we're not always in control of our destiny and for some reason God chose another path for her, at least for now.
Jasmine began singing when she was 3 years old. At age four she made her first stage performance for "Put a Smile on a Child's Face" concert at Northern New Mexico Community College. Since then, she has expressed great interest in music and has been the recipient of the NMHMA's Child Song of the Year and Child Artist of the Year Awards. She has been an honor roll student at Tony Hillerman Middle School and is a member of the Volcano Vista all Women's Choir. She has sun the national anthem for countless school functions as well as University of New Mexico sporting events.
In September of 2018, at the beginning of her freshman year at Volcano Vista High School everything changed for Jasmine. She fell ill suddenly and was hospitalized at UNMH. She was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune condition called Rheumatic fever that caused a rare movement disorder called Sydenham's Chorea. She slowly started losing her motor skills and started experiencing uncontrolled movements all over her body. Jasmine went through various tests at UNMH and was seen by countless specialists to try to find the cause of her condition. Within weeks Jasmine lost her ability to walk, talk, or feed herself.
In February of 2018 Jasmine was admitted to the Children's hospital in Denver where she went through more tests and it was concluded there that the Chorea was caused by a condition called Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome which puts her at high risk for blood clots and strokes. Jasmine was treated with very high doses of steroids among many other medications. The medications took their toll and the side effects from the treatments were devastating to Jasmine. Since then Jasmine's condition has improved however she continues to struggle with this illness. Ongoing treatments will be required in Denver.
My husband, Gil, and I have decided to sponsor this fundraising campaign, a virtual raffle, through our business Fire Forms, partnering with our friend Rosabelle Arellano, the creator and founder of Nuevo Designs by Belle. We are asking for a minimum donation of $10 and all supporters will be entered to win, in this order:
1. "Not Your Mama's Comal" - Double comal with Zia and Chile, with a display stand.
2. One set of "Jasmine edition" Zia earrings with matching pendant plus another "wild card" set of Zia earrings with matching pendant.
3. One set of "Jasmine edition" Zia earrings with matching pendant plus another "wild card" set of Zia earrings with "Eat Your Heart Out New Mexico" pendant.
4. One set of earrings/pendant by Nuevo designs by Belle.
5. "Clouds Over the Rio Grande" Oil on Canvas painting by acclaimed artist Adrian Martinez, which measures 22" X 28"
We are asking for a minimum donation of $10 to be entered into the virtual raffle but would greatly appreciate anything above that which you can spare. You will be entered once for every $10 you donate (e.g. $50 equals 5 entries).
ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO JASMINE
Prizes will be shipped to winner(s), be sure to leave contact information (e-mail address and/or phone number).
Thank you for your generosity and May God bless.
Note: Check back for updates on the exact date of the drawing