When I first heard about the passing of Lester Dominguez, I was
in shock – he’s such a young guy! Then thinking, this could also
happen to me.

I have not seen a doctor in YEARS, because I figured, I was feeling okay. But that shock prompted me to finally go in and get checked out. I had numerous blood tests done and sure enough, I had all the risks for a sudden death.

I found out that I had uncontrollable diabetes and high cholesterol, probably due to bad eating habits and I was also not physically active.

My doctor put me on daily insulin shots and pills to lower my cholesterol. He recommended regular exercise and healthy eating. This was not easy, but I am happy I followed his recommendations.

After a few months, I redid all my tests and fortunately my blood test results were almost ALL back to normal.

I continue to support this organization and its mission and vision because it has impacted me to live a healthier lifestyle, so that I can enjoy my life with my family. I am choosing to live longer and not become an unfortunate statistic.

Dan Palonpon
Utilization Review Director
Assure Home Healthcare, Inc.

When people ask me, “How have you been? What’s new?” My response is typically the same, “Oh you know, work.” It’s funny to think that day by day nothing changes but truly, when we look back, everything is different.

Reflecting on life over these past five years, so much in fact, has changed. We often do not realize these changes as we go through our daily motions, nor do we take time to credit ourselves for our milestones as by nature these days, in my generation, in this current, hurried world we live in, the stepping stones are not celebrated and often times grazed over.

Five years ago, I was a year into my career in my first Management role. Being fresh out of college and considerably inexperienced, I had a great deal to prove with plenty of groundwork to lay down, innumerable lessons to learn and so much knowledge to gain. Work was all I prioritized as I strongly felt nothing else mattered but the set-up of my career, to the point that working 6-7 days a week, 12 hour days, barely sleeping and eating, was the norm. I was in a fast-paced environment where I was taught to believe that this is the kind of life  that is lived in my industry.

On February 14, 2013, the day Lester passed, I was at work as it was early afternoon when I received the news. My sister called me and told me that everyone was at the Dominguez house and I should go. The first thing I thought and said was, “I am not sure if work will let me leave,” hesitant to even ask. A terrible response. A terrible first thought, in fact difficult and embarrassed to admit, but that was my truth. I was so tunneled in work I did not even realize. I didn’t notice my lack of presence towards my family or how much time I didn’t spend with my close friends and while my career was my focus, I failed in prioritizing my general health all at the same time.

I did leave work immediately after the call, and was at the Dominguez house every single day. It was the most time I spent with my sister, my cousins and I was home so much more. The loss of a life brings people together under the most dismal circumstances but I never could have foreseen what I gained after that.

Lester was like a big brother, practically part of the family. I however, never knew his family in the same regard and never took time to get to know them. Sadly, it was only during the times we were mourning that I really got to know the family that raised and molded what I have always viewed as a well, put-together, respectful, young man. The home he was raised in was overflowing with so much laughter, so much food no visitor leaves hungry, and this  infectious kind of love that makes you want to love and care for your loved ones better than you are. Their home carries this genuine desire to help and be there for others, it makes perfect sense why Lester, as well as his siblings, turned out to be such good people. Losing Lester was not easy, but I thank him every day for blessing me with his family that I call mine too.

Gaining a new sense of family truly deepened when his close family and friends shared this passion in telling his story. We had to make it known and imprint the importance of personal health and annual health check ups that many may neglect. This made me evaluate my own career and life situation completely. Encouraging and influencing our community with this message, without practicing it myself did not feel right. During the infant phase of what we called this movement, LES Live Every Second, I simultaneously worked on planting my feet in the ground at work. Outgrowing that role took months, but the following summer I found time to take action on my personal fitness, began training and in the same season, I was baby-sitting my nephew every Monday.

The loss of Lester defined the value of time, the value of presence, the importance of nourishing your relationships and living and loving with a happy heart. It was our organization and our movement that gave me the courage to draw boundaries at work in efforts to make more time to care for myself, in return being better suited to care for those who I love. His story and what we represent motivate me and inspire me every single day. It is my constant reminder that in order to fully live every second, we must make lifestyle changes that will be beneficial to our overall mental and physical well-being. For this, I have been deeply grateful, especially to have fought to be in a better working environment and develop better relationships with my family and friends.

Missing you every day.

Janelle Jara

Christian is a natural athlete. He plays basketball, volleyball, softball and more. Super active and athletic till a back injury gave him minimal to no time on the court and in the field. After back surgery and recovery time, this guy was back at it.

After months of training and focusing on his nutrition, we asked him, “Why the change? What made you just get up and do this every single day? Why do you choose to Live Every Second?”

This bad-ass little dude is my ninja, Aiden. He is my heart, my soul, my purpose, my why– the reason behind my hustle. The love I have for
watching my heart walk around is indescribable. His little, old, wise soul teaches me how to be a better person every day. I would move mountains for this munchkin as I know he’d do the same for me.

Christian Acosta