January 9, 1991 – May 27, 2009
Tribute to Paul
“One of the things that constantly runs through my mind is this question: What would our lives be like if you were still around?” Paul’s friend EJ ponders. “I’m thinking you would be taking over Southern California with your charisma, your singing voice, and your never-ending hunger for success. I’ll bet that among all of us in the ol’ high school group, you would be the most successful! Man, I’ve always admired your sense of dedication and passion for anything that you do! You didn’t let your health condition or the fact that you only had one arm stop you from doing anything. As a matter of fact, I remember you telling me that when you had two arms, you couldn’t do that much! But when your left arm got amputated because of cancer, all of a sudden you developed some crazy skills in things people with two arms couldn’t accomplish in their life time! I miss you man and not a day goes by when I don’t think of you. You have inspired me to do many things with my life, and I wouldn’t be where I am right now if it wasn’t for you! Thanks to you, for the rest of my life, I will keep pushing myself to do greater things not only for myself but for the people around me and eventually the world!”
Another close friend shares, “This one-armed man has done so many things that most of us with both arms can’t even do! He was an insane athlete (even though his health held him back sometimes), a sword fighter (he literally disarmed eight, dual-bladed fighters in a training session one day), a skilled gamer, an AMAZING singer, and so much more! But to me he was my first best friend.”
Kind and Gentle Spirit with Powerful Determination!
Paul was a spiritual giant, a kind and gentle soul who only saw the good in people and in life. He never let his 8-year-battle with cancer stop him from living and giving all of who God made him to be. He was a young man who knew how to love; his hugs drew your breath away, all with one arm! Each day Paul faced the challenge of his illness with his characteristic courage and determination. He was an incredibly intelligent student that, had he graduated, likely would have done so at the top of his class, even though he spent a good portion of his time studying through chemotherapy with his textbooks spread out on his hospital bed, notebook in lap preparing for his next exam. He never considered himself disabled and participated fully in academics, athletics, music and student council. Not surprisingly, Paul was twice selected as “Most Inspiring Student” both at his middle school and high school. It probably wasn’t even a contest!
A Better World Because of Paul…
Paul knew that whatever time God had given him on this earth he would live well and give back to others. He was an active fundraiser for Camp Ronald McDonald House and the City of Hope. He always greeted his friends and loved ones with a big hug and questions about how “you” were doing. Paul impressed all who knew him with his faith, courage, compassion, determination, cheerfulness, friendliness, love of God and positive attitude. The Quintas family knew Paul as a fun-loving kid, always with a genuine smile, a word of encouragement or a blessing to share, and full of life. Never for a moment did we consider that he would not be here…until that day came. We simply could not accept a world without Paul. But here we are.
No doubt, we are better for having shared a piece of our journey with Paul. We continue to experience Paul through his mothers eyes and memories of him… Paul’s passing is a harsh reality that life is painful and there are empty places left by those we love who are no longer with us. But we also know we have been made better by having known Paul. Because of Paul we will never forget that life is a gift and we need to treat it that way. In tribute to Paul we strive to live better, love more, have faith, give back and do so generously. Thank you Paul for helping become the inspiration and motivation for Here to Serve! You continue to give back and we are happy to do the same in honor of you! Paul, you are a perfect person to dedicate Here to Serve to!