As most of you know, Gloria Borges, or WunderGlo as she has been known for the last three years, passed away on January 5, 2014. On January 11, we honored Gloria's magnificent and brilliant life with a beautiful Memorial Tribute Service at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and a glorious mass at The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. The following eulogy was written and read by Gloria's mother Rebecca Keller at the Cathedral.
Born into Life on December 8, 1981 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Bellflower, CA
Called to Eternal Life on January 5, 2014 on the Feast of the Epiphany in Los Angeles, CA
"An angel on earth", "an inimitable being", "a generous spirit", "a force of nature", "a personal hero", "a true inspiration"… these are only some of the adoring words that so many are using to describe my daughter, Gloria Borges. We have been so deeply touched by the astounding outpouring of beautiful words, love, and tributes that have flooded us through phone calls, letters, & emails, as well as through the social media world. There are lots of friends and family who are getting Wunder, WunderGlo, and Gloria tattoos to honor her legacy and on Monday, the California State Assembly will be adjourning their session in memory of Gloria and will also be entering a Resolution in her memory.
Gloria lived an exquisite life, one of boundless generosity, unmatched brilliance, and uncompromising excellence. What Gloria accomplished while here on earth was truly astonishing. Her inner beauty shined like a blazing sunrise, her energy soared, and her determination & competitive spirit fiercely roared. As her mother, I had the VIP seats for it all.
A little over three years ago, Gloria began what she called her “cancer killing adventures, and believe me, they were! When first diagnosed, undaunted by the long odds of survival and the naysayers, Gloria took on her disease with the same confidence, energy, faith, spirit, and heart filled determination with which she had approached absolutely everything in her life. She started a blog called WunderGlo primarily to chronicle her adventures and inform concerned friends and family. Gloria’s blog entries that were brimming with hope, happiness and positive energy quickly turned into something much larger than Gloria had ever expected as she found that people from all over the country and all over the world caught onto the magic that was Gloria. Her journey was filled with joy, laughter, music, dancing, travel, Duke basketball, gratitude, and love. Tons and tons of love. Gloria delighted in making so many friends and family her “Love Life” paintings and she successfully instilled this message in everyone she touched. I knew very early on in Gloria’s life that she just didn’t belong to me... Gloria belonged to Everyone.
One year after her diagnosis, Gloria launched The WunderGlo Foundation to seek to empower and inspire those fighting the disease, demystify the colon cancer diagnosis, and support research to eradicate it. In early 2013, Gloria launched the foundation’s most ambitious capital campaign called The Wunder Project. So proud of this revolutionary and cutting edge approach to fund the “cure” for colon cancer, Gloria worked tirelessly to bring widespread attention and infectious interest in this realistic and groundbreaking goal toward the cure.
Despite the fact that 2013 presented great physical challenges for Gloria, she never stopped running her foundation and running it with fervor. Gloria’s important work included traveling around the country to spread the word about the revolutionary Wunder Project campaign, which gained widespread media attention, furthering her own cancer knowledge and education by attending and participating at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conferences both in San Francisco and in Chicago, Illinois, delivering many inspirational speeches at speaking engagements across the country. And, of course, no matter how busy Gloria was she always reserved time to reach out and counsel newly diagnosed cancer patients and their caregivers in their darkest days and shining her guiding light to inspire them to fight the battle of their lives.
Through it all, nobody outside of her inner circle knew just how much Gloria struggled. No one had an inkling of what she was going through. Whether ailing in bed at home, receiving chemotherapy, or physically being in a hospital, Gloria’s devotion to her foundation, followers, and campaign never took a back seat. Gloria always amazed me with the generosity of her time. Her selflessness truly knew no bounds. Even when Gloria filmed the foundation’s darker “The Time is Now” video, which attempted to get across the urgency of her message, she had just been diagnosed with a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
Although Gloria achieved brilliant success in her lifetime, there was one goal that she wanted so much to reach. That goal was to attain her first million dollars for the Wunder Project. So many of you have directly asked me, my husband, or Will what you can do for us, emphatically offering anything to help. Well, there is absolutely something you can do. Please help keep Gloria’s legacy alive through her foundation and help Gloria to reach the first million dollar goal that was so closely within her grasp.
Please take the time right now to go to The Wunder Project website and make your pledge today to show Gloria your love and commitment to her living legacy. A financial donation at any level is appreciated. Volunteering your time to help with the foundation or a pledge to set up a meeting with a potential investor, either private or corporate, is also greatly appreciated. You can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
During the last hours of Gloria’s beautiful life, I had an epiphany. For the past 3+ years I had been praying so hard for a Miracle; when in reality it was Gloria that has been the miracle all along. For the past 32 years we have all been graced by the miracle of her amazing life; we have been blessed by this true angel on earth. We were fortunate to get to love her each and every day. That was the gift. That was the Wunder. Gloria has been The Miracle all along.
Always the competitor, and never quite gracious in defeat, please know that while Gloria may have been overcome by her illness, she was a HUGE Winner in the game of life. Now in true WunderGlo fashion we must all look for and see the joys in every single day, cherish every memory, remember to always be grateful, while always moving forward on a mission and living Gloria’s mantra to “Love Life”.