Theresa Azochar, Presente!The following letters were written after Theresa Azochar was diagnosed with liver cancer.
She is a rose, she is a flower that blooms, she is the one that has the voice to make many people’s flowers bloom. She is everyone’s best friend, a mother and my grandmother. I come to the world for help for my grandmother. I and my family are heart broken and there are no words to say.
Theresa Azochar has been the strength and encouragement for many women all over the world. She worked with Assemblywoman Sheila Kuehl and numerous other Senators to help bring into law AB 231, today known as Section 4801, the section dealing with Battered Women’s Syndrome for the Parole Board.
Theresa volunteered her time in speaking at colleges, legislatures, Churches, Battered Women’s Shelters and conventions. Theresa helped many people who had no family left. We as a society need to come together to bring our voices and help to an incredible woman who is an example to all people of the world. Her dream is to see her daughter Theresa Cruz come home.
We are asking the world to come together in prayer for a miracle, and we need all the help we can get.
—Adriana, 13 years old
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If she's gone tomorrow, we must continue the fight...
Tonight I visited Theresa Azochar. She is surrounded by her family, kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, sisters, brothers and her mother. If ever a woman was to be received into sainthood, I nominate Theresa Azochar.
She is the most honest person I know, and I'm going to miss her. Short of the Goddess, Great Spirit and the Creator of All Life visiting us in life form, our San Diego-CCWP Mother is saying goodbye. I can't even begin to know where I'm going to start without her. It was she and her drive to free her daughter Theresa Cruz that gave birth to the San Diego Chapter of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. With her spirit and a few of us following on her tail (you know who you are) San Diego's CCWP was born in March of 2000.
For those of us who have been working on the FREE THERESA CRUZ campaign, "let's see next year" was the final straw. Only five days after Theresa Azochar had been diagnosed with cancer in October, her daughter Theresa Cruz was denied parole again. Theresa Cruz lost her father because of her unjust incarceration and now, she can't be with her mamma to say goodbye. I'm angry at Kaiser, I'm angry at Teledyne and I'm disgusted with the Board of Prison Terms.
Miracles have happened, and people have turned around. I've lit my candle and saged my house—if only she can be with us for just a little bit longer. Just to see her daughter come home . . . That's all I want.
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Theresa Azochar lost her battle with cancer on December 7 at 11:20pm. Her daughter Myrna was by her side and holding her hand when she left this world. For the past 1-1/2 months since she was diagnosed with liver cancer, many of us have been sharing stories about her struggle to keep her family together, to secure her daughter's release from prison and her gift of making everyone feel like they were the most important person in the world. She was an awesome speaker about the Prison Industrial Complex and its destructive force on families, communities and on the nation. I will miss her...
CCWP and LSPC tried to get the prison to allow Theresa Cruz to attend her mother’s funeral. Because she is a life-term prisoner without a parole date, CIW denied this request.
Last updated August 11, 2005 06:53 PM