This is the story of Shanti, a little warrior that, together with her mother, showed us that with perseverance and love, anything is possible!
Shanti Sofía Rangel Tiznado, age 2, is the smallest of her siblings, Aseret of 18 and Bernardo of 16. Her parents, Teresa and Victor, chose very symbolic names for this little girl: Shanti means ‘inner peace’ and Sofía ‘wisdom’.
Shanti has Down Syndrome, described by her mother as a blessing. A very loving and friendly girl who gave a positive twist to the life of her family.
When she was only 8 days old, her mother found out that Shanti had a heart defect, a common problem in children with Down Syndrome. However, Teresa did not allow the news to bring her down and she began her toughest fight, the one to save her daughter’s life.
“There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my baby. She is my life.”
The whole family got to work by collecting funds for Shanti’s medical care. They organized raffles, sold burritos, jelly cups, ice pops, whatever they could. Solmar Foundation also supported them with a garage sale, so in her lunch breaks from work, Teresa went out to hand out flyers for the event to guarantee its success. Once they finally collected the money they needed for the catheterization, they were told by their doctor that what Shanti needed was an open heart surgery, which would cost about ten times the amount they collected.
When she was 1 year and 3 months old, Shanti only weighed 14 lbs. as she couldn’t eat because she only had 2 teeth and couldn’t crawl because she got fatigued. One day, thanks to Teresa’s perseverance, when seeking for help at a cafeteria, she received a card that changed Shanti’s life. It was the contact for someone that would help her baby’s much needed surgery!
Shanti became the 8th Heart Hero of the 3rd round of open heart surgeries of the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation in June of 2014.
“I felt that it was my heart that had been repaired.” Teresa said.
Shanti demonstrated great courage, she almost didn’t cry during her recovery. She also kept everyone around her smiling, as she danced and played with the nurses, as if nothing had happened just one day after her surgery!
A year later, Shanti is very different. She has gained weight, is almost walking, and can’t stop playing! As a sign of appreciation and seeking to help more children with health problems, Teresa decided to organize a different party for her daughter’s first surgery anniversary. A celebration of life!
Shanti is part of the daycare ‘Estancia Infantil Emily’, ran by Azucena Hernández and Jannet Pacheco. Her teachers describe her as the soul of her classroom, an angel with so much love to give. All of the children get excited at her arrival, and they take care of her and protect her. Teresa invited the parents of these kids to be part of Shanti’s celebration and asked them to make a donation to the foundation, instead of getting Shanti a present. During the event, Teresa collected the donations in a box with the phrase ‘Gracias de todo Corazón’ (Thank you from the Heart).
In a very emotional event, Teresa handed the box with the collected donations to our Development Director, Vanessa Figueroa. A gift from Shanti’s family, friends and teachers to the foundation.
Thank you Tere, for being an exemplary mother. Thanks to your perseverance, Shanti can continue to spread love and joy through her beautiful smile.
On behalf of all the children we assist, LCCF also thanks you and all those who contributed in this special event, from the bottom of our heart!