Clorox is the corporate sponsor of a deeply touching documentary by Ernesto Quintero, an LA based actor, performer and documentarian. In his own words, when he learned of his brother’s diagnosis while on tour with Jennifer Lopez, he determined to return to LA to develop this documentary, A Sacred Journey, for his niece and nephew as a way for them to know and remember their father.
A Sacred Journey
Juan Quintero, Ernesto’s brother, was diagnosed with ALS in 2005. They were brothers and best friends, as children. They played baseball together, went to the same school, had the same teachers, similar friends and shared a love for family, growing up. Juan, today still lives in the community of their childhood and his children attend the same school as their father, uncles and aunts. After shooting the documentary for years, it was ready to be shared in theatres, but needed funding to finish the editing.
Ernesto launched a funding campaign which included several screenings of the film. One such screening was seen by Robin Santos, an executive with Clorox. Unbeknownst to Ernesto, the Clorox corporation was introducing and expanding a new business service and product line, designed to support the millions of Americans who find themselves in the role of caregivers for loved ones. This new effort is called ‘When Care Comes Home Initiative’ and includes a new line of products: New Cleaning and Personal Homecare Products. We were treated to a wonderful ‘swag’ bag that included this product kit and brochure materials on homecare.
The services and product line grew out of an extensive survey conducted by Clorox. The survey revealed startling facts: ‘Caregivers often put the needs of their loved ones before themselves, and over time that selflessness has an impact — both inspirational and challenging. Eighty percent of caregivers believe that their role has given them more meaning in their lives, but most of them have also felt exhausted (85 percent), frustrated (82 percent) and overwhelmed (79 percent), according to the “When Care Comes Home Survey” conducted by Clorox CareConcepts and the Caregiver Action Network (CAN).’
While significant, one of the most startling realizations of the survey was first that more than 66M Americans are or will serve as caregivers, and second, there are very few resources available to these caregivers that offer practical information to help guide them in their role whether it is new to them or has evolved with their loved one’s condition. Clorox CareConcepts is removing that obstacle by launching the website When Care Comes Home, complete with supportive tools and products to help empower those caring for a loved one. Caregivers will find links to well–respected partners, such as family Caregivers Alliance (FCA) and CAN, as well as educational content. In other words…a community offering guidance, perspective and encouragement.
How does this relate to Ernesto and Juan Quintero? Juan owned his own construction company, was happily married to his high school sweetheart and the father of two amazing children. His love of his family was known by everyone. He was and is surrounded by his parents and all of his siblings, there are 6 kids total in the family. As a close knit family, they are known in the community as people who care and who see their lives as lives of service to others. They are a loving family, always taking care of one another and all the children in the family.
Juan’s illness progressed with surprising speed. Within 18 months, he went from someone who was playing baseball with his son and flying kites with his daughter, to being unable to dress or care for himself. Confronted with health choices to end his life or choose to live completely dependent on others, he was leaning toward an early death. His family, parents, siblings, children and his wife begged him to consider choosing life. Ultimately he did. ALS has completely robbed him of any ability to live an independent life. He is bedridden, can only communicate with the blink of an eye and every need must be attended to.
The family has rallied and each person serves as a caregiver, working in 24 hour shifts. It is an amazing example of the very best of a loving family and the extraordinary impact of caregiving, oddly the best representation of ‘When Care Comes Home. Robin Santos as a representative of the Clorox corporation saw this documentary as the absolute best example of everything Clorox learned about caregiving and caregivers. A month after the screening, she contacted Ernesto Quintero to ask if he and their family would consider serving as living examples of the best of caregiving. The family agreed and as a result, we all have the opportunity to share in this very moving story about a family and their love for one another.
Look for the screening of the film, A Sacred Journey in your city, brought to you by Clorox. Thank you!