Judy, 67, of Colton, NY, is a passionate and strong-willed woman who is dedicated to her family and her community. Judy’s Wish of a Lifetime was to visit her cousin Renee, in California who she has not seen in over 15 years.
Judy was born and raised in Colton, a small rural town in upstate New York and has always devoted time to volunteering. For 40 years, Judy was heavily involved with 4-H, a youth development and mentoring organization that empowers young people. She led, mentored, and taught sewing and cooking to children between the ages of 9 to 18. For several years, Judy also volunteered with her community’s Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary, where she assisted with hosting events and dinners to fundraise for the fire department and the community.
Judy’s cousin, Renee, was born and raised on the opposite side of the country in California. Although they have seen each other only a few times, they love and care for each other deeply. Judy and Rene first met at a family reunion in New York when they were children. Rene felt an immediate connection with Judy that ultimately grew into special, lifelong bond.
Over the years, the cousins have stayed in touch through phone calls. They talk on the phone for hours at least once a week. Rene is always very uplifting and has helped Judy through many difficult times, especially recently. Rene understands that Judy has been through a lot and admires her for staying humble and strong throughout her hardships. Judy describes Rene as a light, saying, “If you want to cry, she can make you laugh.” Despite their long distance relationship, Rene has always encouraged and supported Judy like no one else.
Thanks to Wish of a Lifetime, Judy and Rene were reunited for the first time in 15 years! Judy was joined by her daughter, Jannell, and her friend, Michelle, to visit Rene in California. Judy spent the entire week with her beloved cousin Rene. Since it was the first time Judy had ever visited California, Rene showed her around town. They went to Hollywood, Santa Monica Beach, and the Aquarium of the Pacific . “I never thought I’d get to visit Rene in California,” said Judy, “It was delightful.”
Photos by John Fuentes Photography