January 15, 1995 – June 10, 1996
Laps for Life Information
It has taken me 5 years after the death of my son to be able to write his story.
It’s difficult to put on paper the memories and the myriad of emotions
that surface when I think of my little boy and the short existence he had on
It was an early Sunday morning on January 15, 1995, when I felt
the contractions and the excitement that came from knowing that my baby was
about to be born into this world. I
woke up my husband and together we drove to the hospital where a few hours later
Andrés René Herrera was born. There
were no complications during delivery and my husband, my daughter and I were
finally holding in our arms the newest addition to the Herrera family.
The following weeks after Andrés’ birth were typical of any family with a
newborn baby; changing diapers, bottle feedings, visits from friends and family,
presents and congratulating cards, getting to know our new baby and enjoying the
blessing of having another healthy child.
Andrés started sleeping through the night two months after he was born. An event I was grateful for because my maternity leave was
over and I had to go back to work. Then
came smiling and cooing. Oh my baby
had such a beautiful smile!
My son continued to grow normally and
reached the milestones that every healthy baby is supposed to reach and before I
knew it, my Andrés was 10 months old, he was all over the house and getting
ready to walk! The Holidays
came along. My little boy
enjoyed eating, so turkey, mashed potatoes and dressing were the highlights of
Thanksgiving followed by bright lights and Christmas trees.
On Christmas day my daughter Amanda, who was five years old at that time,
was the first one to get up to open presents followed by Andrés who wasn’t
sure what to do but tried to follow the example of his older sibling.
My husband and I noticed Andrés wasn’t very interested in opening
presents and he looked a little sad which was very unusual because he was a very
active and happy baby but we didn’t think much of it.
He had been running some fevers a few weeks before and was getting over
an ear infection so we just thought he wasn’t feeling completely well yet.
The days after Christmas we notice he was having trouble sleeping and would
“cling” to us. No one could
hold him but us, which was again very unusual since he loved to get other
people’s attention and would go to anyone who would be willing to hold him.
New Year’s eve came along, Andrés was now having trouble pulling up and
standing. We also noticed
some stiffness on his legs and became very concerned so on January 2, 1996, I
took him to his pediatrician to try figure out what was wrong.
He cried throughout the examination, every time the pediatrician would
sit him down he would cry even more so he ordered several tests which were done
that very same day and so it began a series of testing that would last a whole
week. X-rays of his lower
back and legs, then a whole body bone-scan, blood work and so on.
Every single test came back with nothing.
In the meantime Andrés continued to get worse.
He seemed to have lost his energy and although he tried so hard to pull
up or crawl he couldn’t do it, also his hands began to lose their grip so he
couldn’t hold his toys anymore. He
continued having trouble sleeping so we spent many nights holding him in our
arms pacing around the house trying to console him and help him go to sleep.
After a whole week of tests and sleepless nights we urged the pediatrician to
take a more aggressive approach and he referred us to a neurologist who was a
close friend of his. We were able
to see him a couple of days later, after the examination he ordered an MRI.
I remember going into the room where the MRI was being done, as I watched
my sedated baby inside this loud machine I started crying and praying that we
would be able to find out what was wrong with my Andrés.
A few days later my prayer was answered, but not the way I was hoping. The neurologist called on a Friday to say that the MRI did
reveal something wrong with my son and asked my husband and I to see him in his
office the following Monday so he could explain in more detail.
On Monday, January 15, 1996, my Andrés’ first birthday, we received
the most devastating news a parent will ever hear.
The MRI had revealed our little boy had a very rare and fatal disease
called Krabbe. Although the diagnosis had to be confirmed with a blood test,
the neurologist was almost 100% sure of the certainty of the disease.
We were also told that the disease had presented itself so aggressive so
our child would die within 6 months.
We walked out of the doctor’s office numb and in shock, we hardly spoke on our
way home and for the rest of the day I felt I was living a nightmare and just
needed someone to wake me up. I
couldn’t cry, I stared at the walls of my bedroom numb and at the edge of
insanity. I just kept repeating in my mind; “This can’t be true”,
“Oh God, it’s a mistake…they made a mistake”, “Not my little
boy… God, not my little boy.”
Unfortunately two weeks later the diagnosis was confirmed with a blood test and
with the reality of Andrés’ deterioration.
With no hope for a cure, we focused all our efforts on loving our child
and making the best of the little time we had left with him.
Andrés died peacefully in our home on June 10, 1996, surrounded by the
love of his family.
We are thankful that although Andrés lost movement and control of his body, he
never lost his hearing, sight, ability to swallow and, most of all, his
beautiful smile. Andrés was truly
a fighter and through it all he never stopped smiling.
He is forever in our hearts and I will always be honored to call him my
Saturday - June 11, 2005
Trinity Park- Fort Worth, TexasAlert -
Alert - location of 5k has been moved from Trinity Park to a different
Please contact Beatriz Herrera for further details at 817-847-5762 or firstname.lastname@example.org
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Registration fee - $20.00 (includes t-shirt, refreshments and entry to drawing for door prizes)
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.
5K/Walk-Run begins at 8:30 a.m.
The Andrés Herrera Memorial 5k Walk-Run for Krabbe Leukodystrophy was established in June 1997 by René and Beatriz Herrera in memory of their son who lost his life to Krabbe Leukodystrophy at the age of 17 months.
This Memorial 5k Walk-Run takes place every year in the first week of June at Trinity Park in Fort Worth, Texas. Since June 1998 all the funds raised from this event have gone to the Hunters Hope Foundation www.huntershope.org
The purpose and mission of the Andrés Herrera Memorial 5k Walk-Run is to bring awareness of Krabbe and the Leukodystrophies to the general public and medical community while raising the funds for research to find a cure for this devastating disorder.
So far the Andrés Herrera Memorial 5k Walk-Run has raised close to $23,000.00 in donations to continue the research for a cure for Krabbe disease.
Our goal this year is to raise more than $7,500.00 and we need your support. If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area please consider participating in the 5k Walk-Run, making a donation or volunteering in this event.
For further details please contact Beatriz Herrera at (817) 847-5762 or email@example.com for more details.
To download copies of the registration and release forms for the 8th Annual Andrés Herrera Memorial and Laps for Life Walk-Run Please click here. These forms are within a zipped file and can be viewed with Microsoft Word 2000 or greater. If you are unable to view these files in your own word processor, please feel free to download the free Word Viewer from Microsoft. If you are unable to open zipped folders please download the evaluation version zip utility from WinZip.
We had close to 50 adults plus children participating in the event and we're fast approaching the $3,000.00 donations mark as more donations continue to be mailed.
We successfully distributed the brochure David Cooper put together not only at the 5K but also among the network of physicians thru Cook Children's.
We were honored to have The Lockhart family visit the 5K - Victoria is a beautiful girl.
Here are a few photos from the event. We will be delivering the funds and the Hunter's Hope bears in the next couple of weeks to Cook Children's Medical Center.
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