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Mario and Lucina are best friends living in the same community in Denver, Colorado. Mario, who was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, has shown immense signs of resiliency throughout his life. Growing up, he experienced some tough times as a child, but fondly remembers his mother always being there for him. Mario’s mother recently passed away and with the second passing of his loving wife at the beginning of this year, Mario states that it has been one of the hardest times of his life. Getting through these events would not have been possible without his resilient nature, and the support of his good friend Lucina.

Lucina and Mario met when Lucina moved into their community several years ago. Lucina only spoke Spanish and was having a hard time connecting with anyone, but when a social worker asked Mario to reach out to Lucina, the two quickly became close friends.

Mario and Lucina have been through quite a bit together and have expressed the desire to celebrate their friendship and support of one another by enjoying a peaceful day at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Mario used to work at the gardens about 20 years ago, and often speaks of his fond memories and his wish to show Lucina the beauty of it. Unfortunately, it is a wish that has not been accessible for the pair to see through on their own.

On April 15, 2019, Wish of a Lifetime sent Mario and Lucina to the Denver Botanic Gardens to enjoy the day and spend some time together at this special place. Two team members from Wish of a Lifetime tagged along, and it was very impactful for Lucina to be able to speak with Wish of a Lifetime’s Hannah Dresdner in Spanish, as there are not many people she gets to converse with on a regular basis. Lucina even remembered the Spanish names of many of the flowers, and she enjoyed sharing that with everyone. 

Mario had a smile on his face the whole time and expressed his gratitude for the wonderful tour guide from the gardens, explaining how he has a favorite book that talks about the angels we meet in our lives. After the tour, the education department showed them around their garden and let them plant their own tulips and parsley to bring home. At the end of the day, Mario shared, “I felt very special on my day trip, it was so beautiful and nice to get out of the building for a bit … it filled my heart with happiness.”