Tina Mesa knows a lot about personal tragedy – and about the strength it takes to overcome it. She sees both every day in her work at the Friendship Home in Lincoln, working with families in crisis. But she also saw it in her daughter Regina, 36, who was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer this year.
Tina raised three children of her own and never thought she would be in the same situation as a grandmother. But on Saturday, November 30, Regina tragically lost her fight with cancer, leaving her mother behind with her three children: Dyani, 17; Itan, 12; and Jade, 7.
Jane Cogan, program director at the Friendship Home, heard about Magic Moments and knew she had to nominate Tina, Regina, and the kids because of the hardships they’ve met with this year and the way they have faced everything together with strength and bravery. Union Bank had already selected the Mesa family for a Magic Moment before Regina passed away, and now that she’s gone, we want to do as much as we can to take care of this special family during what will be a very emotional holiday.
Help during a hard time
Now that Tina is the sole provider for the family, UBT wanted to equip her with lots of gear to run the household. Walker Tire donated a set of four tires, and Advance Auto Parts donated necessary replacement auto parts for Tina’s vehicle. She also received sets of pans and dishes for family meals, a full bedding and bath set, a car emergency kit, and a standing reading light.
Dyani received Marcus Theater movie passes, Green Bay Packers gear, the Blood of Eden book series, and new clothes and shoes from Scheels. For Itan, UBT arranged the Track book series, a Lego set, a drawing pad and pencil kit, a tie dye kit, and new clothes and shoes from Scheels. And Jade received the Pete the Cat book series, construction paper and a drawing pad set, a Frozen drawing set, a Lego set, and new clothes and shoes from Scheels.
The whole family received passes to Lincoln Escape Room, a gift card to Urban Air, a family pass to the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, passes to the YMCA, a family photography set, and a gift card to Hy-Vee. They also received several special ways to honor Regina, including a Legacy Tree Memorial from Lincoln Parks and Recreation, flowers for Regina’s funeral from Fields Flowers, a Be Remembered package, and necklaces with Regina's fingerprint and handwriting for the kids.
The emotional weight of Tina’s professional and personal life is heavy, but she carries it lightly, and she and her family are more than deserving of a Magic Moment this holiday season. We wish them the very best as they make their way through this holiday together and hope for their continued strength.