The insidious disease of alcoholism and drug addiction is indiscriminate in its victims. Univision’s Genela Solano recently found Susy Pérez, a former dancer for J.Lo and model, living on the street fighting for her life against a heroin addiction. Solano interviews Pérez in what might be the most heart-breaking news’ interview broadcast ever–ending with Pérez sending a message to her son, who she hasn’t seen in years.
That is until Solano returns with Pérez’ son, who she hasn’t seen since she first became homeless.
Susy Pérez came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic, and made it big in the entertainment world.
The mitad-Boricua and mitad-Dominicana was a model and a dancer for J.Lo. Up until a week ago, she had spent the last five years homeless living on the streets. She told Univision that when her mother died, she was lost without her. That prompted the spiral downwards.
Pérez has survived off the trash of others and the kindness of strangers.
She told Univision that she’s grateful for the people who have bestowed compassion on her and offered her money or food. Her son has also said that he was giving her money the first couple years she was homeless, not realizing she was a heroin addict and using the money for drugs.
Pérez is a breast cancer survivor, and hasn’t been to the doctor in years.
Both her and her abuela were breast cancer survivors and endured double mastectomies. “She may still have it. It may have come back, because cancer never really leaves,” her son tells Univision.
“Jay, I love you and want you to know you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” she tells the camera, hoping her son will receive the message.
“Without you, I cannot smile,” she says. She tells Univision that she wants to get off the drugs but that she can’t because her body has adapted to them. It’s important for people with addiction to have medical supervision as they detox because their bodies could go into shock and die from cardiac arrest.
Three days later, Solano returns with Jay to reunite the mother and son.
“My love, look over here,” Solano tells Pérez. When she sees Jay from a distance, she tosses her wig on the ground and runs to hug him. She doesn’t let go for several minutes, sobbing into his shoulder. Later, she shouts at the crowd gathered around for the touching moment, “I’m going to fight for my son.”
Jay tells Solano that after his mom left, his father kicked him out of the house for being gay.
He started living with friends at a young age and was adopted by another family. According to Jay, in his father’s mind, his sexuality was “the last straw” after coping with his mother’s addiction and abandonment. Jay tells Solano that most of his family doesn’t support him. “I haven’t felt safe. He would constantly verbally abuse me because of the way I expressed myself,” Jay tells Solano.
He told Univision that his mom has a herniated disc, broken bones, and has likely contracted HIV or AIDS.
A car was ready to take Solano to get food, medications, a doctor’s check up and fresh clothes and a shower. According to Solano, they attempted to take her from streets and into the car not once, twice, or three times, but six times before she got in the car. She was very happy to get a fresh haircut but didn’t want to check into a treatment center.
They weren’t able to remove Pérez from the streets.
Univision / YouTube
After experiencing what looked like withdrawal symptoms (irritability, aggression, crying), Pérez stormed off looking for money to buy more drugs. Nearly everyone who has seen the video has offered their prayers that she findS the strength to voluntarily get the help that she needs.
If someone’s drinking or sobriety is bothering you, there are resources that can help. You are not alone.
Right now we are in the midst of so much change. There is so much going on in the world – from a global pandemic that has left millions of us in social isolation to a brand new social justice movement in the wake of murder of unarmed Black men.
We’re being bombarded with so much serious news, it’s hard to remember that there are still people out there leading powerful, incredible lives and making a difference.
One Florida teen has overcome all the odds, including years of homeless, to graduate from his high school as valedictorian and we need to celebrate and recognize this huge accomplishment.
Martin Folsom graduated at the top of his class after struggling through years of homelessness.
Since he was a child, Martin Folsom and his mother Melva have been in and out of homelessness, according to Jacksonville television station WJXT.
Despite all the challenges he faced through the years, Folsom managed to keep his focus on his studies — and his efforts paid off when he was named his class’ valedictorian and graduated from Philip Randolph Career Academy in Jacksonville, FL.
“It kind of gave me a jolt in my chest a little bit, so it was a good feeling,” Folsom said in a video interview shared by KTRK. “It means a lot and it gives me a sense of all I’ve done and all I have accomplished was worth it.”
After college – Martin plans to attend Valdosta State University – he hopes to one day work for the FBI.
Martin credits his mom’s dedication and compassion for helping him succeed.
During his time in high school, Martin’s mom recalled desperately searching for a place to live with her son.
“Martin and I were in downtown McDonald’s and literally had nowhere to go,” she shared with WJXT. “I was on the phone calling people, calling organizations, and by the grace of God, we got into a shelter that day.”
Even with an uncertain living situation, Martin didn’t let that affect his studies.
“I never thought to myself, ‘I can’t do this anymore’ or ‘I’m done with this,'” explained the teen, who served as class president from freshman year through senior year. “It’s always been, ‘Well, it happened again and I’ve gotta keep myself up and keep moving forward.'”
He was set to walk across the stage last week for graduation, but that was canceled due to the pandemic.
Still, he isn’t letting that damper his spirits — especially since Martin had to overcome hurdle after hurdle to earn the high honor. He and his mom have struggled with homelessness since he was a kid, and throughout his four years of high school. They became homeless while fleeing Melva’s ex-husband, who has since been sentenced to 40 years in prison for murder.
Within two years, the mother and son reportedly lived in different shelters across five states before setting in Jacksonville.
“It’s been a rocky road, been a lot of hardships, but seeing myself here right now, about to graduate and go to college, it feels good knowing that all the stuff I’ve done, it was worth it,” Martin said.
He served as the class president for his grade for four years straight, from 9th grade to 12th grade. Now he will go on to college in the fall — and says that will be a big day for his family.
“As far as I know I’m the first person in my family to actually get a college degree,” he said.
Speaking to Ellen, Lopez explained how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected her during this time.
“It did affect it a little bit,” Lopez told Ellen in an interview in which the TV host asked about her wedding plans. “So, we’ll see what happens now … I really don’t know what’s gonna happen now as far as dates or anything like that. We are just kind of in a holding pattern like the rest of the world. So, again, it’s just something we have to wait and see in a few months how this all pans out.”
Of course, leave it to DeGeneres to push for romance. The talk show host recommended that Lopez and Rodriguez try to do a “TikTok wedding” consider how popular their recent videos on the platform have been so far.
“It’s something to think about,” Lopez laughed. “I can’t make any commitments right now.”
The Latina queen and retired baseball superstar became engaged in March 2019.
For the two years that they’ve been dating, J-Lo and A-Rod have shared their lives with the public through their social media accounts, giving us a glimpse into the loving relationship that Lopez has called her “first ever good relationship”. Their Instagram profiles are sprinkled with pictures of them jet-setting, attending premieres and galas, and taking mixed-family vacations in exotic locales together. In other words, they’re very publicly living their best lives together.
However, a wrench was thrown into their happily-ever-after Sunday night when former MLB player Jose Canseco publicly accused A-Rod of cheating on Jennifer Lopez with his ex-wife, Jessica Canseco. In light of all this drama, we’ve compiled the definitive timeline of Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez’s relationship, all the way from friends to fíances. Take a look!
Before the Puerto-Rican triple threat and the Dominican All-Star were Hollywood’s reigning It Couple, they were mere acquaintances. The pair first met in 2005 at a Yankees vs. Mets Baseball game. At the time, Rodriguez was married to his first wife, Cynthia Scurtis, while Lopez was still married to Marc Anthony.
Lopez and Rodriguez reconnected twelve years later when they ran into each other at a restaurant. According to Lopez, they briefly said hello, but it was her who couldn’t resist continuing the conversations. “After [lunch] I went outside,” she said. “And for some reason I felt like tapping him on the shoulder”. He then asked her out to dinner via text.
By March 2017, neither J-Lo nor A-Rod were trying to hide the fact that they were dating. During the month, they were spotted vacationing together in The Bahamas. ARod’s sister also posted a selfie of herself with JLo, captioning it #miscuñis, which means things were moving along pretty nicely.
March 31st, 2017
When co-hosting “The View” at the end of March, Rodriguez had only great things to say about his new lady love: “She’s an amazing girl. We’re having a great time”. He also went on to say that J-Lo was “one of the smartest human beings I’ve ever met”. And he didn’t stop there! He showered on the compliments by calling her “an incredible mother” who “loves family”.
By April, it was J-Lo’s turn to gush about her boo-thing on the talk-show circuit. While being grilled about her new boyfriend by Ellen (naturally), Lopez called Rodriguez “a great guy,” this 100% confirming their relationship.
Never one to do things half-heartedly, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez made their public debut as a couple at arguably the most prestigious event in the world: the Met Gala, of course. This occasion also marked J-Lo’s debut on A-Rod’s Instagram–and the first of many.
By June 2017, it was obvious to the world that this couple was the real deal. Not only was Rodriguez gushing to the press that Jennifer was the ideal role model for his daughters, the pair was also taking glamorous European trips together and posting their adventures to their millions of followers on Instagram.
We all know that one of the most crucial steps of a relationship is when your signficant other accompanies you to a work event. Lopez and Rodriguez crossed this milestone when A-Rod accompanied her to the premiere of “World of Dance”–a show she stars in and produces. It’s for reasons like this that A-Rod calls her “one of the most brilliant business minds that [he’s] ever met”!
J-Lo and A-Rod took their relationship a step further when they spent Thanksgiving together in Rodriguez’s home. On Instagram, they shared with their followers that this was one of the many times they combined families for the holiday–further proof that they were very confident with where their relationship was.
Along with the power couple’s magazine cover debut on the December issue of “Vanity Fair”, the duo also debuted their new (and catchy) portmanteau: J-Rod (we’re pretty sure they had it trademarked before they went public).
Lopez and Rodriguez showed their Latinx pride by visiting Puerto Rico in January after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
In the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar, JLo got candid about her relationship with A-Rod and addressed the possibility of a wedding on the horizon. “I do believe in marriage,” she said. “And I would love to grow old with somebody in a committed relationship. But I’m not forcing anything right now. It’s good, it’s healthy; we communicate well…We have a similar makeup.” All signs point to yes!
May 7, 2018
JLo and A-Rod attended their second Met Gala as a couple in matching couture Balmain outfits, cementing their status as style icons.
Lopez and Rodriguez spent her 49th birthday in one of their go-to vacation spots: The Bahamas. A-Rod took to Instagram to share a cute pic of their blended family on vacation along with a heartfelt tribute to his lady love. ” For someone who has been about giving everything she has 365 days a year—to our children, our families, the world,” he said. “I hope today, we can give you all the happiness you deserve. I love you mucho”.
A-Rod’s reaction to JLo’s epic VMA’s performance last August became a viral sensation, as his pride over his girlfriend’s triple-threat skills were all too apparent. Twitter was full of women wanting a man who looks at them like ARod looks at JLo.
A-Rod continued to support his girlfriend by attending events that were obviously important to her. In October, Rodriguez accompanied Lopez to Elle’s famous “Women in Hollywood” event. That night, he posted a supportive message to JLo on his Instagram: “With two young daughters and a woman I admire by my side, I know how important it is that we raise women up and teach our girls that there is no limit to what they can do.”
According to their Instagram accounts, J-Rod spent New Years eve in Malibu, again with their blended family. Rodriguez’s caption read: “As the sun sets on 2018, from our family to yours … #HappyNewYear everyone!”.
Lopez took her athlete-beau to the ultimate glamour event: The Oscars. The two shined in evening wear and Rodriguez was solidly by her side while she strutted the red carpet and presented awards.
On March 9th, J-Rod announced that they were engaged with mutual Instagram posts sharing the news. The Instagram posts showed off the 15-carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring, which is reported to be worth up to a cool $5 million.
March 10th, 2019
On Sunday night, former Major League Baseball player Jose Canseco accused A-Rod of cheating on J.Lo with his ex-wife, Jennifer Canseco. Before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to realize that Canseco has a history of making some pretty out-there statements (i.e. asking his Twitter followers to “spend the day with me and my alien Buddies”and insisting that he’s acquainted with “Bigfoot and a real alien”). In other words: there’s reason to doubt his word.
As of now, both JLo and ARod have remained silent in response to these explosive allegations, so there’s no way of knowing the veracity of the claims. Until then, all we can do is speculate and hope for the best!