Profile of a Champion

JAVIER

“Sometimes life gives us the opportunity to witness greatness in people.  For me, that was Javier.  He listened when I needed someone to hear me, and he spoke up when I needed to hear someone.  He went above and beyond the duty of a friend and instead became my brother.”
This is just one snippet of so many testimonials about a true Champion, Javier Corradini.  Before passing from cancer in 2017, he touched lives in countless ways, both at home and as an instructor at the Columbia Horse Center.  To this day, people still comment on how he impacted them and brought them joy. His presence was unmistakable, his laughter unforgettable.


“Just him saying ‘Hello’ turned ugly or gloomy days to sunshine. He always made people feel like they mattered in this world no matter what.”  This common theme of how he impacted everyone he came in contact with and how special he made everyone feel runs throughout the memories of Javier.  He would be there with a hug to greet you, and he would offer his shoulder to cry on when you were going through hard times.  
And he would push students at the Center to be better versions of themselves— in riding and in their character. 


“He radiated a light and warmth that we crowded around, soaking up the sense of belonging and connection,” said Amelia, one of his students that still holds dear the lessons Javier taught her both inside and outside of the riding ring.  He encouraged them to cast fear aside and just dig in— it may have been in the context of learning a new riding skill, but it is a lesson that stuck with those lucky enough to have known him.  
“Live in the moment, love every moment, and spread the magic of laughter to all” said Carla when she thinks of Javier.  His laugh especially comes to mind when those who knew him think of his personality.  His wife, Cate, said “he had the best belly laugh.  Happy and genuine.  It’s my favorite thing to think of when I think of him… him with his daughters having fun and laughing.”  It’s that “salt-of-the-earth good” person Cate describes that keeps him here with us.  
The reflections on Javier’s life show how much he impacted others; how he lived for his family; and how his character above all made people want to be better versions of themselves.
That’s what keeps him here.  That’s what makes him a legend.  That’s what makes him a Champion we can always look up to!

JAVIER

“Sometimes life gives us the opportunity to witness greatness in people.  For me, that was Javier.  He listened when I needed someone to hear me, and he spoke up when I needed to hear someone.  He went above and beyond the duty of a friend and instead became my brother.”
This is just one snippet of so many testimonials about a true Champion, Javier Corradini.  Before passing from cancer in 2017, he touched lives in countless ways, both at home and as an instructor at the Columbia Horse Center.  To this day, people still comment on how he impacted them and brought them joy. His presence was unmistakable, his laughter unforgettable.


“Just him saying ‘Hello’ turned ugly or gloomy days to sunshine. He always made people feel like they mattered in this world no matter what.”  This common theme of how he impacted everyone he came in contact with and how special he made everyone feel runs throughout the memories of Javier.  He would be there with a hug to greet you, and he would offer his shoulder to cry on when you were going through hard times.  
And he would push students at the Center to be better versions of themselves— in riding and in their character. 


“He radiated a light and warmth that we crowded around, soaking up the sense of belonging and connection,” said Amelia, one of his students that still holds dear the lessons Javier taught her both inside and outside of the riding ring.  He encouraged them to cast fear aside and just dig in— it may have been in the context of learning a new riding skill, but it is a lesson that stuck with those lucky enough to have known him.  
“Live in the moment, love every moment, and spread the magic of laughter to all” said Carla when she thinks of Javier.  His laugh especially comes to mind when those who knew him think of his personality.  His wife, Cate, said “he had the best belly laugh.  Happy and genuine.  It’s my favorite thing to think of when I think of him… him with his daughters having fun and laughing.”  It’s that “salt-of-the-earth good” person Cate describes that keeps him here with us.  
The reflections on Javier’s life show how much he impacted others; how he lived for his family; and how his character above all made people want to be better versions of themselves.
That’s what keeps him here.  That’s what makes him a legend.  That’s what makes him a Champion we can always look up to!

KRISTY

“We shared everything together.  He was a great partner.  He was a great husband.  He was my best friend.  If I did anything wrong, he would understand me and love me for who I was.” 
And it was their shared faith that provided Kristy and her husband, Johnson, with hope.  “Ultimately, we had peace in our minds that this life is not the end of us and that we have another life together with God.”  
In their last moments together, Kristy told Johnson that he gave her the two greatest presents in the world— their sons.  And as she looks back at the time during his fight against liver cancer, she remembers the happiness they found in living life, reading the Bible together every day, and raising their children. Seeing their young boys grow, watching Johnson play with their sons, doing what they could together… those moments are forever etched in her memory.  “The kids were a great joy for us.  They didn’t know how serious the situation was, since they were 2 and 4, but their innocence brought us immense joy.”  
Like so many in Kristy’s situation, her kids are the most influential people in her life.  “They are the ones that keep you going.  And my sons will carry my husband’s legacy in this world.”
Aside from her children, Kristy takes pride in the incredible work ethic that she and Johnson had in their marriage.  Johnson worked until he couldn’t walk and was a dedicated spouse that always helped with the housework.  Being together as they worked hard to provide for their family set a foundation for her ability to move forward. And despite the incredible challenges in raising children on her own since his passing, she is grateful for a loving sister who helps watch her sons during virtual learning and for the community awareness that Champions Against Cancer was able to provide.  “The help from CAC and the knowledge that there are other people out there in the same situation and getting through it was a great comfort to me.”
Still, life without her best friend and partner in life is hard.  Raising 2 young boys and taking care of the home without their father is hard.  But even with the pain still excruciatingly fresh, Kristy continues to work tirelessly every single day.  At work and at home, her strength and perseverance continue to shine.  Her whole mindset completely changed in how she tackles life, as she has shifted her approach to have immediate goals.  “I used to look at how to achieve things in 5 years or 10 years.  Now I am thinking just today.  I need to make sure we have something in life right now.” With this shift in mindset, Kristy’s focus has been on the simpler goals and joys.  “My family needs to have a happy day, one step at a time.  With the kids, I want to have fun with them and laugh with them.  I want to spend more time with them.  If we are happy and laugh today, then I’m thankful for that.  And I’m thankful to God every day that we are ok.”
Though life has changed for Kristy, what hasn’t changed is the bedrock foundation that faith has provided her and her family.  “My husband and I built faith together, our children have a strong faith foundation in their life, and I’m confident he is in paradise and I will see him again.”
Another story of strength.  Another inspiration.  Another champion.

CATE

“He looked at me one day when I was worried, and he said ‘when are you going to stop being so scared? Just do it. You don’t have a choice— we have two kids and you have to do it.’”​

When you’re a champion, you find the strength where you can, even on days where you think you can’t even bring yourself to get out of bed. Despite the loss of her husband Javier to cancer, Cate has found her strength in family and the memory and words of her husband.​

“Up until the end, he said you need to love each day like it’s your last. A lot of us don’t learn that until later in life. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so you need to make today count. I tell people not to bicker about the stupid little things. At the end it doesn’t matter, and fighting is a waste of time. Be happy and try to live a good day.”

Cate lives every day for their two beautiful daughters.

“They saved me. They got me through it and still save me to this day. For the kids, I have to talk about him. There’s a rainbow? That’s papa saying hi. I have to do it and carry it forward. I try to make my girls understand who their father was and to mold them into good people.”

 

This is Champions Against Cancer’s first “Profile of a Champion.” Our goal is to show others the strength of those that have dealt with cancer in their life, and Cate has been an inspiration to us and to those around her. She has learned a lot about herself and what she is capable of as she has powered on. “Being on my own for the first time in my entire life… old me would never have been able to do this. I’m independent now and can do anything on my own.”

When it comes to advice to others going through the same situation, she says that things will get easier with time. “It will get better. It takes a long time, but it gets better. Minute by minute, it gets better.”

You are a true champion, Cate!

Champions Against Cancer

Champions Against Cancer Inc. is a Howard County, Maryland-based 501(c)(3) charity registered with the state of Maryland. Champions Against cancer is established to provide financial support and resources to the children and families of those afflicted with cancer.

Email: championsagainstcancer@gmail.com

Phone: 301-509-5669

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P.O. Box 115
Highland, Maryland 20777

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