December 7, 2011
Share this story:
Manny Hernandez III

Manny Hernandez III

Manny Hernandez III, a Roynon Elementary student who always lit up the room and brightened the lives of everyone who knew him, passed away last Friday, Dec. 2. For much of his life, he bravely battled to overcome childhood infections due a condition called hypothyroidism. He was 11 years old.

Manny is survived by his family, loving father Manuel Hernandez, Jr., loving mother Shelley Hernandez, his three sisters, Melissa, Rebecca and Sarah, his grandparents, John and Lucille Redman of Sedona, Arizona, and Manual and Margaret Hernandez of La Verne. He is also survived by his uncle Gabriel Hernandez of Upland, Aunt Carla Sells of Genoa, Nevada, and Mark Redman of Kahului, Hawaii and numerous cousins.

Manny with sisters Rebecca, Sarah

Manny with sisters Melissa, Rebecca and Sarah

“I have to tell you, I don’t know what I would do without all the community support our family has been receiving,” said Shelley. “I didn’t realize how many lives my son touched. He was an extraordinary young boy with a strong brave heart and a beautiful soul.

“He lived life to the fullest.”

A vigil will be held today at Claremont Todd Memorial Chapel. Funeral services are Dec. 8, 10 a.m. at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church in San Dimas. In lieu of flowers the family is asking that donations be sent to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the name of  Manny Hernandez III. The address is Children’s Hospital, 4260 Sunset Blvd., M.S. #29, LA, CA 90027 Attn: Maureen Girouard.

Among Manny’s many gifts, he was also a great young writer. His autobiography follows. The family also shares some of its thoughts about Manny in a moving and loving tribute.

Autobiography (written Oct.  10, 2011)

My name is Manny Hernandez and I was born on September 8, 2000, in Pomona, California. I have three sisters Melissa, Rebecca, and Sarah, and my mom and dad.

When I three months’ old, I went to Hawaii on an airplane. We went for my uncle’s wedding. My uncle lives on the island of Maui. We stayed for two weeks.

Manny at the controls.

Manny at the controls.

When we got back, I developed a bad infection and was hospitalized for it. This started my in and out as a patient at the hospital. I have nearly spent half of my life as a patient at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Just recently, I spent my whole summer there, and was the first patient to move into the new hospital.

My dad helped build the hospital at Children’s Los Angeles. My dad also donated his overtime pay and blood. Children’s Hospital is like a family to me and my family. We have helped out with numerous fundraising activities. My favorite was being able to throw the hockey puck out on the ice for the Kings hockey game.

I was also invited back to attend the Kings Golf Tournament, where I won a box suite. I was able to invite my family and friends.

Manny and mom.

Manny and mom.

Some of the things I have enjoyed doing in my life are building model rockets, building model airplanes, back packing, bicycle camping and going on trips with my family.

When I was six years old, I would design and build model rockets with my dad. We would launch them in various places. I enjoyed building vintage airplanes with my dad and grandpa.

My dad and I would go bicycle camping at Puddingstone and Azusa Canyon Campground. We would go panning for gold in the small rivers at the campground. I looked forward to my dad cooking the juicy steak and macaroni for dinner. For breakfast my dad would cook steak and egg breakfast burritos that were very mouthwatering.

My grandparents have a cabin in Wrightwood. In the winter I like to go to the cabin. I go cross-country skiing with my dad. We also build cartoonish snowmen as a family.

This summer we took my oldest sister Melissa to college in Arizona. She attends Arizona State University.

In the future, I see myself becoming a nurse and working at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. I want to help the people that helped me out over half of my life. I know what it feels like to be a patient. And I will treat my patients with a special touch, like they touched me and helped me out.


Loving siblings

Loving siblings

On the 8th of September in 2000, the world was blessed with the strongest boy that would forever change our lives. He came in to this world at Pomona Valley Hospital where he was surrounded by his loving parents Manny Jr. and Shelley Hernandez, and is three older sisters, Melissa, Rebecca, and Sarah. He was such a beautiful happy baby boy, and with his sandy brown ringlets and the chubbiest cheeks he made sure that everyone around fell in love with him, and they did.

Even as a young boy Manny had this light inside him, regardless of the health problems that would soon consume his whole life. He was just three months’ old when he was first admitted for various concerns.  This was just the beginning. Despite all of his hospital visits, false diagnoses and constant illness, Manny never let any of this stop him from living his life to full capacity and encouraging others to do the same.


Manny and sis making fun at the hospital.

Manny and sis making fun at the hospital.


He was incredibly intelligent, compassionate, courageous and positive thoughout his life. He touched lives of people he would have never imagined. He changed the lives of his nurses and doctors, people who watch devastating things happen every day. He developed relationships with anyone around him, young or old. Manny always put others before himself in every situation. During his extended hospital stays he spent most of his time making gifts for his nurses or teaching others card games, such as blackjack or poker.

What some of you may not have known, Manny had a very special interest in the way he dressed. Having older sisters, they made sure he was the most stylish kid on the block, between his colored skinny jeans or his leather jacket. He was not selfish about it, he just always wanted to look his best. Manny was known for wearing the fashionable TOMS, he didn’t want them for the way they looked, he wanted them because he knew that his purchase of these shoes would maybe give hope to a child in need, because Manny truly understood what hope gives you and the strength that it brings.

There is something so unique about Manny that no person no matter how strong or how old could achieve the way Manny did. Manny was passionate about life, he never took anything for granted. He always made sure that even when life got a little cloudy and dark, he made the best out of what he had. No matter where Manny went, he always had a very good sense of direction. He was on a path that would only bring great fortune.

Music would be a good way to describe Manny. He loved it, every last chord and note of it. He would listen to various types of music and would be so moved. This year Manny decided he wanted to take part in the Roynon Elementary School band and play the trumpet. He was so excited when his parents took him to Gard’s music store to buy him his trumpet and music stand and music book. He even practiced that whole first night. Even if he couldn’t play a single note correctly, he still  blew that horn.

Manny even made alligators melt.

Manny even made alligators melt.

One thing we must all remember about Manny is that he still lives with us, happy and as full of life as ever. He is still smiling, still wearing his TOMS, and he is still loving life and everything it brings him, and, of course, he is still loving that trumpet, just as much as loved his music.

Manny never really left us, he will be with us each and every day, looking over us, and watching out for us, making sure we live our lives just as much as he wanted to. He is making sure we never miss out on great opportunities, he is making sure that we never take anything for granted and that we cherish everything we have. And most importantly, we must live our lives to the absolute fullest, because you never know when it will be taken away.

Manny, Manny and the girls.

Manny, Manny and the girls.

So when you are out and about living your daily lives, do everything for Manny. When you are sad and having a rough day, think of Manny. His light and strength will shine through you.

One last thing we must take as we go. Manny will always be remembered, not as he left, but as he lived and he will continue living through us every day. It’s just goodbye for a little while; for now, it’s just see ya later.

We may have lost our dear little Manny, but we  gained a guardian angel.


Again,  funeral services at 10 a.m, Thursday, Dec. 8, at Holy Name of Mary in San Dimas.


2 Responses to “WE REMEMBER MANNY HERNANDEZ (2000-2011)”

  1. If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I’d walk right up to heaven And bring YOU Home again. Jacob Perez

  2. Thanks Peter for this article! Now everyone can know how special Manny was.

Leave a Reply