Jose Montano prided himself on receiving awards for perfect attendance since he was in kindergarten. He can now be proud of something far more profound: overcoming adversity and inspiring those around him.

On April 18, 2011, he was admitted to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego for brain surgery. He had a golf-ball size tumor on the base of his brain. When he woke up from the surgery, he had a loss of strength and coordination on the left side of his body. In order to walk, his parents needed to hold his hands or hold him from behind so he would not fall. His family felt powerless and fearful, not knowing what lay ahead for Jose. But then they felt as if a greater power sent some amazing angels to embrace their family, to help them from “going down.” These angels turned out to be family and friends, who stepped in to be “parents” to Jose’s five siblings while Jose’s family attended to his needs.

On May 13, 2012, Jose was released from Rady Children’s, and he began radiation therapy and chemotherapy soon afterwards. Despite the multiple treatments and doctor appointments, Jose's attitude never changed. Always looking on the bright side of life, he had the ability to touch the lives of everyone he met, simply by his beautiful smile and politeness.

Today, Jose is able to walk and nearly run on his own, after being in a wheelchair, then using a walker, and then a cane. Jose’s family believes that God picked Jose for a reason, and they feel like it’s their duty to find out what that reason is. As this journey continues, they are finding that through Jose’s selflessness, they are able to help other patients and families undergoing similar life challenges.

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