Diana Burgos Brutoco ’74 was recently named Orange County “Mother of the Year.” She accepted the honor at a gala at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine on May 10. It was quite a Mother’s Day celebration! It was for the benefit of Casa Teresa, a wonderful organization that helps young pregnant women who have nothing, not even a home.
Diana and spouse Dr. Rudolf Brutoco ’74 have four grown children themselves (Marisa, Juliana, Marcus, and Paul), and a 2-year-old grandchild, Rafael. Diana has supported SCU in many ways through the years, and is now on the Board of Fellows, as well. The bio about Diana for the formal event mentioned Diana’s gratitude to SCU for preparing her for meeting the challenges of life, and instilling confidence as well as a passion for helping others. As the world’s longest surviving recipient of an unrelated bone marrow transplant for leukemia, and subsequently a two-time survivor of breast cancer, Diana’s vigor is inspiring. For 25 years, she has helped countless others battle illness and despair. Diana accepted the award in honor of all mothers, saying: “I respect you all, and believe me, I know how hard you work, how much you love, and how important you are”. Many other Santa Clarans were present for the award, including Rinaldo Brutoco ’68, Ric Brutocao ’66, Dan Barsanti ’71, Shelly Bruneau Barsanti ’72), Christopher Hartig ’99, Mike Lange ’06, Adam Brutocao ’15, Gina Salcedo Pellizzon ’82, Bill Malcolm ’82, J.D. ’85), Severina Brutocao Malcolm ’82, Louis Brutocao (‘91) and Christina Brutocao Moreno ’94. The Mother of the Year is an especially fitting honor for the woman who recently donated, with her family, the “In Celebration of Family” bronze sculpture on campus, depicting a personal family moment in the lives of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.