For Evanisto Amador Guerrero, walking across the stage at Forsyth Technical Community College on Friday, December 14 to receive his Adult High School equivalency was the culmination of a dream.
A dream especially significant to him now as he is battling Berger’s disease, a rare form of IGA nephropathy or kidney disease. Guerrero has only 38 percent use of both kidneys. He is in treatment and hopes to soon get on the list for a kidney transplant.
At first, Guerrero had a challenging time getting the treatment he needed but now has a physician at Wake Forest Medical Center and is checked every three months. He watches his diet, takes care of himself and wants to have the strength and courage to improve his health for his wife and two daughters, ages 14 and 16.
When Guerrero first came to the United States from Mexico City in 2001, he had many hopes and dreams ̶ completing high school was one and opening his own restaurant was another.
Guerrero achieved that goal when he opened Papa Nachos Cantina in Pavilions Shopping Center in Winston-Salem in 2010. He said he was very busy but happy. That dream, unfortunately, was cut short when he became ill in 2017 and was forced to sell the restaurant.
“I enjoyed the restaurant, but soon it became too difficult to run Papa Nachos with the stress of taking care of my health and my family,” said Guerrero. “We had to face the challenge to make a big change and that is what we did.”
When he sold the restaurant, Guerrero got a job in accounts payable and purchasing for a local company, while he was going to school and getting treatment. He persisted to accomplish another goal.
“Finishing my high school equivalency was the first step in continuing my education,” said Guerrero. “I want to pursue further education for my career perhaps in information technology. I want to make sure my daughters have that opportunity as well.”
His daughters have a great example to follow.