God: For giving me strength to pull through my cancer ordeal. Always working in the background and orchestrating my vision of becoming an inspirational speaker and author.
Family: My intermediate family (My Parents, Brother and Sister) for always being supportive and being there for me. My extended family for keeping me in their prayers throughout the years and for also being supportive. “CalmandStrong” came into existence because I inherited my Mother’s creativity, my Father’s determination and my Grandmother’s strength.
friends who were around when I was sick during my teen years in high school and
those who believe in my vision.
My Life Coach: For encouraging me to become an inspirational speaker and recognizing that I have a unique story to tell. He also was the first person to believe in my vision about connecting my experiences and realities of being a two-time cancer survivor and hip amputee to the digital world of the inFAMOUS videogame franchise and superhero Cole MacGrath.
Organizations and Educational Institutions
High Desert Primary Care: The Doctors and Staff for noticing that something was unusual in my body, and insisted more tests should be performed at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital.
Loma Linda Children’s Hospital: Taking care of me when I was 14 and 17 years old during the darkest days of my life when I was diagnosed with knee cancer, had to get a knee replacement, had lung cancer and when I became a hip amputee.
Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics: Taking the time crafting my prosthetic legs over the years, and always looking out for my best interests when it comes to getting the best prosthetic leg available.
Silverado High School, Victor Valley College and California State University, Long Beach: All the teachers, coaches, teammates, professors and counselors for their support, helped me with my education and the skills I acquired as a writer.
Toastmasters at CSUSB: Accepting me with open arms and letting me express my pain, struggle and accomplishments through public speaking. The Advisor of the club for helping me craft my inspirational speeches.
Inspiration from Entertainment
Video Games: inFAMOUS and inFAMOUS 2
Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) for giving Sucker Punch Productions the resources to create the inFAMOUS franchise and Cole MacGrath. Sucker Punch Productions for creating Cole MacGrath. A character that is an ordinary person, but still being able to overcome extra ordinary adversities.
Music: Nas, The Pharcyde and Blu & Exile
For their honesty, encouraging lyrics about knowing myself worth, to keep moving forward and to not dwell on the past.
The Brother’s Stillmatic. I crawled up out of that grave, wiping the dirt, cleaning my shirt, they thought I’d make another ‘Illmatic.’ But it’s always forward I’m moving, never backwards stupid here’s another classic.
This is the rebirth. I know the streets thirst water like Moses, walking through the hot desert, searching to be free. This is my ending and new beginning – nostalgia. Alpha and Omega places, it’s like a glitch in 'The Matrix.'
'Blood of a Slave, Heart of a King.'
So I stood up and let my free form, form free, said I’m gonna get some before they knockin’ out me. I don’t sweat it, I let the bullsh*t blow in the breeze, in other words just debris.
Now that I’m older, stress weighs on my shoulders heavy as boulders, but I told y’all, until the day that I die I still will be a soldier.
Another day broke, money ain’t my motto, nope. Traded peace for the sorrow that I swallow, bottle after bottle, like the role models that I hallow, feeling like a seedless avocado.
On the brink of trying to make my mind, save my soul, at the same time trying to make this rhyme. Wonder, will I be saved in time? Make Salah, say grace case God change his mind. How insane am I? Just the same as you, came here what you came to do, I’m just saying the truth.
Nothing is More Powerful Than a Made up Mind.
NBA Players: Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, Kevin Johnson and Jason Kidd.
CalmandStrong is dedicated to all people from all ages that have ever experienced a serious illness, especially the teenagers and young adults who have sadly passed away from their illnesses.