1954 – 2015
Fernando Cruz, Advocate and ABIL’s long-time Reintegration Coordinator, passed away on April 23rd. Since 1998, he assisted individuals from nursing homes ages 18-65 years old to gain independent living in the community. Through the years, Fernando helped hundreds of people make the transition from nursing home to independent community living. Fernando’s own personal experience living with a disability – including his own transition from nursing home to the community with the help of ABIL – made him an ideal person to coordinate this program.
Fernando Cruz was a proud member of the Tohono O’odham Nation. He served as Co-Chair of the American Indian Disability Summit committee, and coordinated the Emergency Preparedness Planning for People with Functional Needs in Tribal Communities program.
His full-of-life personality, humor, kindness, and assertive advocacy will live on in all of the people he empowered and touched.