All moms deserve high praise, or at least a good foot rub, this Sunday on Mother’s Day, but let’s give a special squeeze to the mothers in our midst who make us proud to share ranks with them.
- Life saving mom: “Kiss of Life” aunt Pamela Rauseo, a 37-year-old schoolteacher from West Kendall who saved her nephew’s life on the Dolphin Expressway in February by giving the infant CPR on the side of the road. Rauseo was trained in CPR when her own son, Alex, stopped breathing at 5 months of age.
- Mom with a heart: Miami-Dade Police Officer and grandma Vicki Thomas, who caught a struggling mom shoplifting at a Publix in South Dade last fall then ran inside and spent $100 of her own money to buy the woman groceries before giving her a ride home.
- Moms who fight for their rights: Vanessa and Melanie Alenier, Summer Greene and Pam Faeber, and Kathy Pareta and Karla Arguello – six moms who have joined with other gay and lesbian couples to file a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County challenging Florida’s ban on same sex marriages.
- Mom turning grief into social change: Syrian Fulton, who co-founded the Trayvon Martin Foundation, a nonprofit that supports families affected by gun violence, after her 17-year-old son was killed in 2012 during an altercation with George Zimmerman in Florida. The daughter of a policeman, she has toured the country speaking out on gun violence, “stand your ground” laws and racial profiling. Fulton and Tupac Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur, are hosting a two-day retreat for moms affected by gun violence, the “Circle of Mothers Empowerment Retreat,” May 16-18 in Weston.
- Mom who speaks up for those who can’t: Miami Herald reporter Carol Marbin Miller, who worked long nights and weekends for years, giving up time with her own family, to investigate and tell the stories of 478 children who died of abuse or neglect despite the involvement of Florida’s Department of Children and Families. In the wake of the resulting series, “Innocents Lost,” state legislators recently approved a major overhaul of the state's child protection laws.
- Honorary mom of animal kingdom: Linda Jacobs, the longtime Jungle Island trainer of Peanut, an orangutan she nursed through aggressive chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, with the help of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Jacobs, who has been with Peanut since the great ape’s birth, was the first to spot changes in Peanut’s behavior. She spoiled the orangutan through three months of nausea, fever, fatigue and isolation, and continues to monitor Peanut in hope that she doesn’t relapse.