Cari Fonseca

Cari profile photo

Name: Cari Fonseca

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Age: 57

Title: CEO/Founder The Next Step Foundation

Married/Single: Married

Kids: four total. Three beautiful daughters, each with their own special spirited personality. One son. Our foundation was created around Brandon.

City you live in: Phoenix

A typical day in my life includes

hahaha it would take a book to write all of that! The short version is I take full-time care of my son, Brandon, who has a traumatic brain injury from a car crash. Unfortunately, he made a poor choice to drink and drive. That choice took the life of his best friend, and left Brandon in a wheelchair and completely dependent on me for all his needs. In short everything you do to take care of yourself just imagine doing the same for another adult person, only with special needs, every day. Most of our days, we’re out running 10 miles in the neighborhood prepping for our next marathon, or we’re speaking at local schools to promote our message about drinking and driving.

I was born…

in Phoenix, AZ. Yes, I am one of the few natives.

My favorite thing about Arizona…

it’s a dry heat! I love the monsoons, or now as Arizonans call them…haboobs.

I’m listening to…

K-LOVE radio. It lifts me up and reminds me that God has my back.

My family…

is a three ring circus, we have always called ourselves this because there’s never a dull moment, and honestly, if it’s not chaotic, none of us would be happy!

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

Kurt Warner because he married a woman with three children, just like my husband married me with three children. I admire him, his faith and commitment to his family. I would love to have him run with Team Brandon in one of our marathons!

One thing I cannot live without…

family and friends!

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

Miss America. No really. My mom was a model, and it was a ritual in our house to watch Miss America every year.

I’m inspired by…

my family. They support me in caring for Brandon, which is harder for them than it is on me! I am also inspired by the students we speak to about Brandon’s story – when they go home and actually tell their parents about our presentation and the parents email me and thank me. That’s when I know we are doing good things and saving lives one at a time. I am also inspired by all of the Local DUI Task Force Officers that are so willing to join us on all of our presentations. They share their real life stories and perform field sobriety tests on students with our Drunk Buster Goggles.

The one person who motivates me is…

I actually have more than one. My husband, Arnie, is the most amazing man I have ever met. He married me with three children, one of which was Brandon. He has always treated Brandon and my daughters as his own. Arnie is my rock! He keeps me strong even when I don’t think I have anything left to give. He pulls me from the depths of my own demise and reminds me that God made me and because of that, I am who I am! Brandon, my son, has the will to live and make a difference in the community. He is unlike anyone I have ever known. I never would have thought he could survive something like this! He has died approximately nine times, and I just know God has a real purpose for him. His smile is what makes me realize he is happy and has a quality-filled life.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

to never to have people drink and drive!

The perfect day would be…

to get up early, go for a run, and hop on a plane to spend the day jet setting with my baby girl in Venice Beach!

My first job was…

a hostess at Ricardo’s Mexican Food Restaurant, which is probably why I am obsessed with Mexican food.

My favorite escape…

is very simply having a few minutes of me time. An hour would be luxury.

My life…

is always busy and filled with so many wonderful people whom I have met because of Brandon’s accident. The best things in life come out of the worst tragedies if you choose to allow that to happen.

I’m currently working on…

applying for grants to help our foundation become self-sustaining.

Always…

look at the cup as half full and remember that someone out there is much worse off than you are!

Never…

ever give up!

Favorite Quote…

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude!”

Biggest Dream…

to have our own Team Brandon 5K, 10K & Half Marathon run.

My Pet Peeve(s)…

people talking in a movie theater and people who walk in front of me when I am pushing Brandon in his wheelchair.

Cali Coast Heavy Medal

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