SCVMC Peer Support program loses one of its bright stars

The Peer Support community at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and beyond was shocked and heartbroken to lose one of its most positive and uplifting peer supporters, Annamarie Moreno, on July 12th following complications from an infection.

NorCal SCI co-founders, Nick and Franklin, had just spent some time with Annamarie on Sat., June 2nd at the Day on the Lake event at Vasona Lake and Park where she was joined by her family to enjoy kayaking at the lake for the first time since she suffered a spinal cord injury in December of 2012 following an automobile accident.  It was the same weekend when she celebrated her 33rd birthday.

At a celebration of life service at the Mt. Pleasant Christian Center in San Jose last Friday, an overflow audience of well over 500 people came to pay their final respects to Annamarie and her family.  Annamarie’s spirituality was a large part of her life as was her family.  Despite the many challenges being a quadriplegic presented, she never lost her positive outlook and was rarely seen without a beautiful smile on her face.  Appropriately, at the reception that followed the celebration of life service, a sign at a table carried a message:  “Annamarie wishes this a no tear zone.  Please celebrate her life with fond memories.”

Franklin first met Annamarie during her rehab at SCVMC in December of 2012 where he was a peer supporter.  Her injury was a C5-6 Complete, yet ”from the first moment when I entered her room, she greeted me with a huge smile which took me back as I rarely see a newly-injured person with a smile following a devastatingly difficult injury,” recalls Franklin.  “I soon learned that’s how she was wired, to always remain positive and happy.”

Annamarie is survived by a large family, including her 14-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son.  NorCal SCI will report in the coming weeks on how you can help support the family.