Well, hi there.
You've either landed here via our racing endeavors or through omnipresent entity, Facebook. Whatever reason that brings you here, welcome. We're glad you are.
This particular blog, separate from "race to the finish line", has been another long time project in the works. It's aim: to document the life of living with disability of both the patient and the caregiver.
Or rather, the lives of two normally abnormal brothers.
My name is Jason Iloreta, 22 years old and a recent Gonzaga grad. The better half of this pair is Joshua Iloreta, 24 years old and a proud graduate of Kapaa High School, Class of 2008. We are brothers in more than just name. We have travelled the world, caught a few waves, and climbed a sleeping mountain together. All with some added challenges along the way.
Let me start from the beginning.
On March 17th, 1990, while our mother was in labor with Joshua, the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck tightly. The doctor performed an emergency C-section to quickly revive Josh's non-beating heart. Five minutes without oxygen before being put on life support. Five days given for josh to start breathing on his own, and on the fifth Josh took his first breath. Of course, I don't remember much of it.
Being without oxygen, Joshua's brain suffered irreversible damage affecting the control of his motor movements. His condition- Cerebral Palsy. To this day, Joshua is unable to walk, has some control of his arms and hands, must use a device to speak, and will forever be sustained with nutritional formula via his G-tube in his stomach. As a caregiver this means constant assistance with bathroom, feeding, changing, and transportation.
I have taken that role as a caregiver for much sometime now. I knew how to feed him by age six. By third grade I began carrying him and doing his showers. Too clarify, much of this was by choice. With four and ten years between our older sisters and Josh and I, I was with Josh everywhere, at home, at school, and running errands with my mom. Naturally, we bonded.
Now, after four years away at college I have returned to the life I've come to love and loathe--not in the sense of resentment, but in the frustration that difficulties are inevitable and relentless.
I CANNOT--DARE NOT-- WISH OF A LIFE WITHOUT JOSH.
I've come home with a purpose: to establish a path for my brother toward a more purposeful and meaningful life.
This is the blog of our journey there.