Individual Spotlight: Chris Medina

"It was within the first three or four weeks that I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her," Chris Medina said about longtime girlfriend and fiance Juliana Ramos.

Then on October 2, 2009, two months before the couple would walk down the aisle, Ramos was injured in a serious car accident on her way home from work. She suffered a severe skull fracture, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and multiple fractures to her face. The accident left her partially paralyzed. Throughout this ordeal, Medina stuck with her and became her primary caretaker.

Medina is a 26-year-old aspiring singer from Illinois. He and Ramos' story and their commitment to each other has come to light through the television competition American Idol, where Medina tried out and made it to Hollywood. Ramos accompanied Medina and proudly waved his ticket, as well as had a chance to meet the judges.

"I just heard your fiance sing and he's so good," rocker and American Idol judge Steven Tyler told Juliana. "You know, 'cause he sings to you all the time, I could tell. Love that... That's why he sings so good - because he sings to you."

Even while in Hollywood, Chris continued to take care of Ramos, alongside her mother, and even after his recent cut from American Idol February 23, Medina was not discouraged. Ramos still plans to pursue his love in music.

"I just wanna write music, release it, make people happy-just sing from my heart and do what I love," Medina said.

Super producer Rodney Jerkins was so moved and inspired by Medina's story that he wrote a song for Medina and offered Medina the chance to sing it. The song is called, "What Are Words."

"It's a song about making promises and fulfilling them, about telling someone you love that you'll be there and having them be able to count on you because you said it. Because the words that you say really mean something," Medina said.

Ramos continues to make progress and is raising money to help pay for necessary surgery, and Medina continues to be by her side. He finds inspiration and perspective on what Ramos has to go through everyday.

"She knows the impossible task that she has ahead of her. She knows that every day she wakes up, there's a new challenge that is so difficult that anyone else would give up. The fact that she gets up and toughs it out and tries to get better, it's an inspiration," Medina said. "It makes you not complain about the caramel that you don't get on your caramel macchiato. Or the fact that you got a flat tire. The trivial things in this world don't mean anything when you're faced with "I can't even hold a cup without [it being] completely difficult. It changes your whole life."

Published by The Fundraising Journal 2011

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