This memorial fund is in memory of Genevieve Frias Sotelo, Wife, Daughter, Aunt, Sister, Nurse, Marathoner, Triathlete, 14 year Cancer Survivor and most importantly Mother to her beautiful twin boys, Liam Chase Sotelo and Aiden Rey Sotelo.
Born in 1973 in Manila, Philippines, where Genevieve was raised until she was 8 years old, she was reunited with her large family in Chicago. Genevieve was the youngest of nine children. Moving at that age was a rough transition but she managed to make friends wherever she went. Always determined and never deterred by her circumstances, she put herself through school and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing from North Park University. She worked at Northwestern University Hospital initially, did traveling nursing and eventually settled at University of Chicago Medical Center where she touched so many lives as a transplant specialist and support nurse for over a decade. Genevieve was kind to everyone. Her strong work ethic and trademark smile continue to be her most memorable traits.
She met her husband, Gary, in 2000, and they were engaged in 2003. She was initially diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2004, just months before her wedding. Soon after, Genevieve had a lumpectomy, underwent chemotherapy and radiation. For 10 fruitful years, she was in remission. Not wanting to squander her second chance at life, Genevieve traveled to Australia for her honeymoon, completed two Chicago Marathons and a Chicago Triathlon. She wandered through several European cities including London, Paris, Rome, Venice, Florence and parts of Germany before trying to start a family. Strong cancer medications were required after her surgery and a waiting period was necessary after discontinuation, before pregnancy could even be considered.
Early attempts were unsuccessful, but with her strong faith and perseverance, God finally blessed her with a healthy pregnancy. With a petite build and a height of 4'11', carrying twins was no easy feat, but she endured and gave birth to her beloved twin boys, Liam Chase and Aiden Rey, full-term, each over 6 pounds. Genevieve always wanted the best for her boys, starting them with swim lessons when they were months old. She wanted them to enjoy all those things she did not have access to when she was growing up, so she enrolled her boys in gymnastics, tee ball, soccer and martial arts, in hopes of igniting a passion.
Her ultimate dream was to own a single family home, with a fenced yard for her boys to play in and top rated schools at each grade level. This dream came to fruition only months before her untimely passing, but she went out on her own terms, she created a living space which matched her vision and would provide her boys with abundant opportunities in top school districts from kindergarten to high school.
As the youngest of nine children, Genevieve knew firsthand how difficult it was to have limited resources for education. She always wondered what else she could have achieved if she had educational support while growing up. Those who knew Genevieve could attest to her strong will and unfaltering determination. When someone said she couldn't do something, it only fueled her desire to achieve.
Her goal for the children was to provide them with opportunities so they wouldn't have to work as hard as she did. Genevieve created an environment where they could flourish and this memorial fund was established with that goal in mind. Funds collected will be deposited into individual education accounts to assist Liam and Aiden in achieving their full potential. Genevieve's focus was always on her children. She did everything to help them be the best they could be. Any amount donated would go a long way in securing Genevieve’s legacy…her beloved boys.