Season for Caring, Hospice Austin, Joey Jimenez – Austin American-Statesman | CarTailz

Behind the Jimenez family’s dining table are display cases with religious art and photos of children. The collection is so large that it extends to the roof of the closet and continues onto a side table.

The photos sit both loose and in frames, surrounded by ornate glasses, two sports trophies and a ceramic cookie jar. There is a bust of Mary and a large statue of Jesus with two fingers raised, cows at his feet.

A saint’s bracelet rests on the wrist of 28-year-old Joey Jimenez, who is seated at the dining table, and above his head, at the top of the larger cabinet, is a painted wooden plaque that reads, “All Things With Jesus.” ”

Jesus — and the Catholic faith at large — has served as a source of hope and refuge for the Jimenez family during Joey Jimenez’s treatment for brain cancer in recent years. Irremovable tumors putting pressure on the left side of his brain and the back of his eye sockets have affected his right side function, vision and speech.

Watch: Season for Caring video, Jimenez family

Joey Jimenez has brain cancer that affects his vision, speech and mobility.

Hannah Ortega and Nicole Villalpando, American statesman from Austin

Despite being nonverbal and struggling with mobility, Joey Jimenez still watches the rosary ceremony every morning and works to care for his mother, Michelle Jimenez, 57, and youngest brother, JonPaul, 17 — as does him promised his late father.

“Even with this illness, he sees me,” said Michelle Jimenez. “I know he knows my struggles. When I’m in pain – I have arthritis – he knows it and he… tries so hard that I don’t bend over any further… he needs help with his socks and getting dressed and he tries and I don’t want him to makes an effort . I tell him, ‘It’s alright, it’s alright, Joey. Just put your leg on my leg.’”

Michelle Jimenez said Joey has always been a caring son with a big heart for his family. Before his illness and after his father’s death from kidney failure in 2016, Joey Jimenez would take his mother and brother JonPaul to dinner on Friday nights, buy groceries from HEB on Saturday mornings, and help with bills and JonPaul’s school prep. He even installed a ring camera to keep his loved ones safe.

He continues to find small ways to take care of his family, such as insisting through gestures that his mother eat half of the hamburger his younger brother Jacob sometimes brings him for lunch.

Michelle Jimenez said she knew something was wrong with Joey when he began having uncharacteristic mood swings and a short temper. He had had tumors before from a condition called neurofibromatosis, but they had always been benign. When Joey received his cancer diagnosis, Michelle Jimenez and Varnador didn’t want to believe it.

However, Joey Jimenez took it with grace because of a previous scare with one of his nieces. She had a brain cyst and Joey Jimenez had prayed it wasn’t cancer. He prayed that God would let him get cancer instead of his niece.

“He has cancer and he could be sitting there and he’s like, ‘Why me? Why do I have to go through this? I’ve been through so much growing up,'” said Bridget Varnador, Joey’s older sister. “And there he was, almost gracefully, at peace.”

Joey Jimenez underwent chemotherapy from 2020-2021, and his doctor suggested trial medications at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Joey Jimenez refused to put his mother through such a process, despite wanting to keep trying treatments. In her eyes, stopping treatment meant giving up. She turned to prayer and asked God if they should go to MD Anderson.

“Joey’s body had already[said]’No more chemo,'” said Michelle Jimenez. “His blood levels didn’t play along anymore. So here we are today enjoying Joey every day.”

More:Read more Season for Caring stories

The wishes of the Jimenez family:

Home repairs to improve Joey’s comfort and safety, including wheelchair ramps in the front and back yard, raising the built-in bathroom vanity, bathroom grab bars, replacing three interior doors, replacing a toilet, new kitchen countertop, new refrigerator mounts and shelving; Auto repairs including fixing an oil leak, transmission flush and more; tombstone and help with funeral expenses; assistance in paying bills; help with utilities; Winter clothing gift cards for Joey, JonPaul and Michelle; a laptop; tree pruning services; family portrait; baby monitor; Keurig coffee maker; Pots and pans; driver training for JonPaul; Weekend family getaway to the beach or somewhere nearby; an evening at La Margarita Restaurant in Round Rock; Green Bay Packers memorabilia for Joey; glasses for Michelle; Chic-fil-A gift cards for Joey; and gift cards for HEB, Target and Marshall’s.

Wishlist available on Amazon.

Nominated by: Austin Hospice, 4107 Spicewood Springs Road, Austin, TX 78759. 512-342-4726,

Its mission: To ease the physical, emotional and spiritual pain of each person in our community who is facing an illness in the last few months.



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