I moved to Pueblo, Colorado when I was 13 years old and eventually graduated as valedictorian of South High School. Like many college-bound youths, I traded the familiarity of home for someplace new and exciting–in my case, Denver–but I’ve never forgotten my years in Pueblo. When I go see my mom, who still lives there, I love to revisit my favorite places. Walking down the historic Union Avenue, shopping in Seabels, and eating green chili delicacies–there’s so much to love about Pueblo! And, above all else, I most love Pueblo’s strong sense of community – it is second to none. It is a community that prides itself on authenticity and helping a neighbor in need.
When Maxwell was first diagnosed with SLC6A1, I found that my friends from Pueblo were the first to call, text and offer assistance in any way possible. Even friends of my friends reached out, resulting in many new and welcome friendships. One of my best friend’s friends, Bethany Kostecka, had her entire kindergarten class make Christmas cards for Maxwell, complete with sweet little notes of encouragement. Those cards are now the “wallpaper” in his bathroom, and we admire the beautiful artwork while the twins take their nightly bath. Another dear person, Autumn Tozer, reached out when she heard about Maxwell and asked what she could do to help. Autumn’s family owns my favorite restaurant in all of Colorado – the Do Drop Inn. It is the best pizza I have ever eaten, and so good that Mark bought a separate freezer for our garage to store pizza. (I wish I was joking!) The kindness from Pueblo has kept on coming, and we are immensely grateful!
The Pueblo Chieftain newspaper was the most natural fit for our story. As I made the familiar drive to Pueblo for my interview, I fought back nervous jitters as I wondered what to expect. My nerves were immediately eased when the Chieftain’s empathetic report staff listened to my story and took careful notes. As I made the return trip to Denver, I was confident our story was in good hands. The article appeared on the front page of the local section today, January 27th, 2019, and I could not be happier. Please take a moment to read about our journey: Pueblo Chieftain Article