A lesser-known part of StoryCorps’ work happens in StoryCorps Legacy, which gives people with life-threatening illnesses the chance to record their story, and their loved ones a chance to remember. Over the past nine years, we’ve recorded over 2,000 interviews through the program. 

In this recording, we hear from Maria Rivas, who remembers her mom, Julia Medina. Julia was a single mom who raised ten children while working as a cleaning woman in Fresno, California. 

For the last six years of Julia’s life, Maria took care of her mother as her health deteriorated.

She came to StoryCorps to share her mom’s story with Caroline Dezan, a social worker at Hinds Hospice. 

Top photo: Caroline Dezan and Maria Rivas at their StoryCorps interview in Fresno, CA on April 4, 2014. Courtesy Caroline Dezan. 
Middle photo: Maria Rivas poses with her mom, Julia Medina, at a Christmas in the years before her mom got sick. Courtesy Maria Rivas. 
Bottom photo: Maria Rivas poses with a picture of herself and her mother, as well as the picture of her mother waving as she drives away. Caroline Dezan for StoryCorps.

This interview was recorded in partnership with Hinds Hospice as part of StoryCorps Legacy, which provides people of all ages with serious illness and their families the opportunity to record, preserve, and share their stories by partnering with organizations across the country, including hospitals and clinics, pediatric centers, hospice and palliative care departments, and disease-specific organizations. 

Originally aired September 20, 2019, on NPR’s Morning Edition.