KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On April 13, 2014, a man shot and killed three people at two Jewish campuses in Overland Park. A young man, his grandpa, and a woman. Mindy Corporon lost her dad and son that day.
Less than three years later on February 22, 2017, a man shot and killed a man inside an Olathe sports bar. Sunayana Dumala lost her husband on this day.
Both incidents were reported as hate crimes.
As time continues to pass and the survivors of those events work to move forward with their lives, a beautiful friendship has developed.
As Dumala tried to grasp what had happened to her husband, people kept repeating one name.
“You should meet Mindy Corporon” she recalled.
And it wasn’t just one or two people saying it. Many said, over and over. “You need to meet Mindy Corporon.”
They met briefly at an event at a local church, and Mindy recognized right away the stage of grief Dumala was in. She’s been there.
Then they had their first private meeting. They met for lunch.
“We were just zoned in on each other and talking,” said Corporon.
“She was able to understand and connect instantly. Before I could tell her something, she senses it before and she gives me advice,” adds Dumala.
They both are moving forward with their own non-profits, but with shared goals.
Corporon, her family and close friends hold their Seven Days event, an annual event which kicked off this week. Its theme is Make a Ripple, Change the World.
Dumala started Forever Welcome, an effort dedicated to making sure immigrants feel welcome.
The women both support each other. They need each other.
“At the end of it, I only wish it wasn’t this way that we met. But I’m very glad,” said Dumala.
A beautiful friendship, out of their shared experiences with hateful acts.
With the memories of their loved ones, their proof kindness can prevail.