Exchange student helps grieving mother heal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Friday marked the fourth night of the third annual Seven Days week. Founder Mindy Corporon had a special guest help her promote a cause close to her heart.

Inside St. Anthony’s Church, Corporon and Saul Corderoegido spoke about organ and tissue donation. Corporon spoke in English and Saul translated.

But Saul is more than a translator.

He’s an exchange student from Spain, living with Corporon and her husband Len and son Lukas.

He brings humor and happiness to a home that has lost so much.

“We lived our first year just barely, you know,” Corporon said. “You somehow get through it. Then we entered our second year and I think during that summer, I started saying I needed someone else to parent.”

Her oldest son, Reat, was killed three years ago outside the Jewish Community Center, along with her father, William Corporon.

The Seven Days week was started in their memory.

The family found Saul at the perfect time.

“I had several people say, ‘It’s going to be so sad when you go through his senior year and it’s not Reat, it’s someone else,’” Corporon said. “I told them, every day it is going to be sad and it is sad every day, but I think it helps me in particular and helps Lukas and Len have some redirection and have someone else to focus on.”

The family chose Saul, and Saul chose them.

“It doesn't mean at all we are replacing Reat. And the school has not done that at all,” Corporon said. “But you gotta figure out how to live, and it was something we thought would be engaging for our family.”

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