5 Stories of Resilience During this Challenging Time

We asked and you answered. Two weeks ago, we asked you to nominate the mothers in your lives who have been giving back on the front lines during this unprecedented crisis. Your responses blew us away. There were so many incredible stories of love, compassion, and bravery, but these five nominees topped the list. The service they give across all fields from hospitals to mental health facilities to nursing homes highlights just how many different populations need care and attention at this time. And on top of all of their hard work on the frontlines, these five nominees continue to show up for their children and families. 

Peony & Butterfly Kimono Robe
Photo by Miranda Taylor De Lay

These five women are shining examples of the best of us and what it means to be resilient, strong, and compassionate during the hardest of times. And as a small thank you for the comfort they’ve given our community, we gifted each of them their own Peony & Butterfly Kimono Robe to bring them a little joy every day. The peony in our kimono pattern represents beauty in all its forms. In every line of work, from coast to coast, the common thread for these women is that they have cared for others during this crisis, but they are each beautiful in their own way. Here are their stories:

Janice Sagnis
Photo: @jani_mills
Janice Sagnis, Registered Nurse in Seattle

Here was the nomination sent in by Janice’s friend: Sending you a nomination for Janice Sagnis. Janice is a single mom and registered nurse here in Seattle Washington. Our hospitals have been on the front line with coronavirus and she has been rising to the challenge. She provides excellent care to our acute care patients while never letting her smile slip and while always making every patient feel that they're her highest priority. When we called for volunteers to cover the ICU if necessary, she stepped up without hesitation. When her risk was highest for exposure, she quarantined herself from her 4 year old daughter for 2 weeks, heartbreaking for both of them, but necessary to do her best at work and protect her daughter. Now that she is able to see her daughter again she continues to balance her duties in the hospital with her responsibilities as an amazing mother. She was recently accepted to graduate school which will make her next 3 years even more difficult, but will set an amazing example for her daughter!


Judith Alvarez
Photo by @_jaynana
Judith Alvarez, Case Manager for the Severely Mentally Ill in Oakland

Here’s Judith’s nomination by her daughter: I’d like to nominate my mom, who is an essential worker as a case manager for the severely mentally ill in Oakland, CA. Even before the pandemic and quarantine, her job requires a lot from her. My mom was 20 when she had me and chose to put her education to the side, when I was born. Just last year, she received her masters in clinical psychology. When I think of how far she’s come, it really does inspire me to pursue my dreams. I chose this old picture of us from when I was two years old on my first Disneyland trip because it reminds me that she truly puts her everything into what she loves, from giving me a special day to helping others every single day.


Ishya Chu
Photo by @tikicleen
Ishya Chu, Frontline Essential Employee in San Jose

Here is Ishya’s nomination by her friend: Here is Ishya Chu, on the left, that I'd like to nominate as a deserving mom and frontline essential employee. She works at a hospital in San Jose and just finished a stint in quarantine after being accidentally exposed to a patient with COVID without having personal protective gear on. She is an amazing mom to 8 year old twins, Sadie and Theo. She also recently lost her mom, who was won of the most spiritually beautiful persons I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. This will be an especially challenging Mother's Day for Ishya. I am so relieved she didn't develop symptoms of the virus, but worry for her well being daily. She has been my friend since 4th grade, and I love her dearly."


Lizette Gutierrez
Photo by @marijakitty
Lizette Gutierrez, Certified Nursing Assistant in Chicago

Here is Lizette’s nomination from her friend: This is Lizette Gutierrez. She’s a single mom of two who has been working on the front lines as a Certified Nursing Assistant caring for the patients at the Chicago’s nursing home. She is hard working, caring and compassionate and cares for our patients as she would for her own parents. She has been struggling and working hard to support her two kids. She often feels guilty for leaving them at home and not being able to help them as much as she would want to to complete all of their school work. As you can see on her days off she tries to make up to them and make home made goodies and spend every moment she can loving the. She is often really tired after her weekend off but that never stops her from smiling and carrying on selflessly and carrying for our patients. I believe that she deserves every good thing that’s out there and I nominate her for your giveaway. Thank you for doing this! It really means a lot to us! Love Marija!


Catherine Hontiveros-Tuazon
Photo by @itstrianne
Catherine Hontiveros-Tuazon, Registered Nurse in NYC

Here was the nomination sent in by Catherine’s daughter: My name is Trianne Ysabelle, and I am writing you today to nominate and honor our Family's HERO... my Mom, Catherine Hontiveros-Tuazon. My Mom is an immigrant and a long-time registered nurse of the Mount Sinai Health System. She came to this country to give us a better life, but more so serve and provide the highest quality of care to every patient she will encounter and take care of. As scary as COVID-19 is, my Mom dived in headfirst... despite the risk to herself and to us (her family), she put her patients first. People's lives first. Today she continues fighting on. Like all of us, she is New York STRONG, and she is one of New York's HEROES. Join me in acknowledging her dedication to her duty, to the people she helps, and to her love for this country. Catherine Hontiveros-Tuazon is an immigrant woman, a frontline nurse, an American, and my mother. She is my Hero.

Peony & Butterfly Kimono Robe
Photo by Maria Del Rio

Thank you to these women and the friends and loved ones who nominated them. And thank you to everyone who shared nominations with us. All of your stories have filled us with hope and resolve that we will get through this together. No matter where you are this Mother’s Day, from all of us at KIM+ONO, we’re wishing you a safe, beautiful, joyful, and love-filled day.

2 comments

Hi Jen,

Thank you for helping us to support these front line workers and moms who are so incredible at taking care of us. We are with you in thinking about them every day. <3

Courtney May 15, 2020

Thank you for doing this! Thank you essential workers, I think about you every day.
XO Jen

Jennifer L Henn May 15, 2020

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