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A special Thanksgiving message

Wednesday, Nov 24, 2021

* Brenden Moore asked several politicos what they were thankful for. This response from Comptroller Susana Mendoza stood out for me...

“For me, it’s my brother still being with us. Last Thanksgiving he was fighting for his life. This Thanksgiving he’s still with us. Complications from COVID-19 cost him his kidneys. But he has a good attitude. He’s a fighter and we’re blessed to have him with us. I’m thankful for the love of family and friends and that we can gather with family and friends including my brother this year. We’ll be celebrating my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday.”

* You may remember that Comptroller Mendoza talked about her brother, Chicago Police Det. Sgt. Joaquin Mendoza, in March

Back in November, I called him on his birthday to wish him a happy birthday and he had a cough. Two days later - he’s only 56 - he was at Northwestern Memorial Hospital fighting for his life for 41 days. And then about a month later - a month he spent in an inpatient rehab - he’s had tremendous complications. He’s suffered mini strokes in his brain while he was in the hospital. Total, complete kidney failure, so he’ll be on dialysis for the rest of his life.

And I share it because I think it’s important for people to know that when we hear about a 99% survival rate, you know, think about my brother’s situation. Sure he survived, and it’s a blessing for us, but it breaks my heart to see the complications for somebody who’s dedicated his life to public service and to protecting the public as he’s going through this. And it’s no joke. This is very real, and we’re thankful that he’s still with us, but many people are going through something similar. Many people have lost their loved ones. And I seriously, both as a sister and as a comptroller, you know, when we have to order things like body bags, it really hits close to home. And I just ask people, please get vaccinated the first chance you get. Please, do everything to protect yourself and protect your loved ones and let’s get through this together.

Phil Ponce then mentioned that her brother had moved in with her

I would just say it’s pretty devastating. And I’m so thankful that I can take care of my brother right now when he needs me. There’s so many families who probably feel completely overwhelmed. And I was one of them. I mean, honestly, I never thought I’d tell you that the easiest part of my life right now is managing billions in state debt, but it truly is. I feel so confident and sure of what I’m doing as the comptroller, but it’s certainly a lot heavier of a lift to try to keep my brother healthy. That’s where we’re at. Thank you for asking. I mean, it is something that I can relate to and I know that we’re not alone. Lots of families in Illinois and across the country are going through similar or even worse scenarios with having lost loved ones. But, it’s real and I just ask you to take care of yourselves, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

8 Comments »
  1. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Nov 24, 21 @ 10:50 am:

    She is one the most bad @$$ people in the whole world. Thank you Susana.


  2. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, Nov 24, 21 @ 10:52 am:

    I am thankful that she is willing to share her story. I wish it was covered more, because more people need to know about the very real and lasting impacts that are felt by the sick and their friends and family.


  3. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Wednesday, Nov 24, 21 @ 10:55 am:

    Mendoza was recently in southern Illinois and a relative of mine, who doesn’t do politics at all, met her.

    Said she (Mendoza) was one of the nicest, humble people they had ever spoken to.


  4. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Nov 24, 21 @ 11:05 am:

    “And I seriously, both as a sister and as a comptroller, you know, when we have to order things like body bags, it really hits close to home.”

    With all the chaos of the last year, it’s easy to forget just how morbid and tragic it was at the start of the pandemic when governments had to plan for a mass fatality event while fighting with each other for basic public health resources. We have to fight hard to make sure people don’t forget how the federal government during the previous administration left all of us out to dry during the crisis.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 24, 21 @ 12:32 pm:

    It’s posts like these that make you think and remind we are all just people in the end, with challenges, hopes, and being a hero is sometimes the humanity we all have towards others, and how family means the world as it does to you too.


  6. - walker - Wednesday, Nov 24, 21 @ 12:33 pm:

    Thankful for Susana, and all like her.


  7. - Grateful Gail - Wednesday, Nov 24, 21 @ 12:36 pm:

    I have met her several times, and she was humble, kind, and “real”.
    We could all learn from her.


  8. - Leslie K - Wednesday, Nov 24, 21 @ 12:48 pm:

    Susana is good people. I’ve heard her brother is as well. Glad they will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving despite everything he and the family have been through.


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