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KERA's One Crisis Away project focuses on North Texans living on the financial edge.

Family, Friends Remember Isac Madrid, Rockwall Man Featured In 'One Crisis Away'

Isac Madrid, the 25 year-old Rockwall man featured in KERA’s series One Crisis Away, was laid to rest Monday. Over the past few months, he shared his family’s story about the challenges of facing both a health and financial crisis.

Leaving behind a devoted wife, young son and large extended family, Monday’s service was filled with people who loved Isac.

Isac grew up in El Paso, surrounded by a large, loving family. He had seven sisters, which means today, 18 nieces and nephews are mourning the loss of their funny, kind-hearted uncle.

The memorial service at Lake Pointe Church featured remembrances in both English and Spanish. Isac’s mother Elia Madrid even read from a letter that she says captures what Isac would have told those in attendance.

Isac’s wife Elizabeth and their 20-month-old son, named for his dad, have been walking a hard road since Isac was first diagnosed with erythropoietic protoporphyria, also known as EPP.

The rare disease poisoned Isac’s blood and destroyed his liver. Isac died on Feb. 13 from complications following his second bone marrow transplant.

Elizabeth was by her husband’s side every minute of this fight. Now, she’ll lean on loved ones to get through each day.

“It’s just family that has always been there for me,” Elizabeth said.

Isac’s friends are equally moved by what the Madrid family has been through. Isac got sick just after his son was born, and was in the hospital for all of little Isac’s early milestones. Family friend Ruth Yanez knows how hard that was on a young father.

“That was the saddest thing for me, his baby, he would see him grow through pictures. And that was just sad,” Yanez says.

After Isac’s diagnosis, he was too sick to keep his job, but a former co-worker remembers his attitude and devotion to everyone he cared about.

“He was the happiest, most giving, hard-working person I know. And he loved his family and was so close to all of them,” Crystal Olomon said. “He just loved life and loved everybody. He was truly a happy person.”

That’s how she remembers Isac: Someone to be admired.

Twenty-five years isn’t a long life. Isac won’t teach his little boy to ride a bike and he won’t celebrate 10 years of marriage with his wife. But while he didn’t have a long time to leave an impression on the world around him, it’s obvious Isac Madrid made the most of every minute.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.