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Christina Santiago: 1982 – 2011

Christina Santiago (left) and her partner, Alisha Marie Brennon

With a heavy, heavy heart we report that Christina Santiago was amongst those killed in the Indiana State Fair accident. Before the band Sugarland was able to perform, strong winds knocked down the stage onto the crowd. Christina was amongst the 4 killed instantly. Her partner, Alisha Marie Brennon, a member of the Chicago Force, was also in the crowd and is currently in critical condition.

Alisha, Christina and LCCP Crew at this past Midsommarfest.

Christina was The L Stop’s link to LCCP, where she was Manager of Programming. She was very determined to better our community and spread awareness of our community’s biggest issues. Most would catch Christina at festivals spreading the word about LCCP, Alisha at her side, greeting strangers and friends alike with her amazing smile that could light up a room. She was also on the Amigas Latinas board and would help with events and programming.

Needless to say, she was a big asset to our community and will be greatly missed by everyone. There will be a vigil tonight at 5PM at the Lisa Tonna and Mary York Memorial Garden (on the north end of the Howard Brown Sheridan Building) at Cuyler and Sheridan to remember her and to keep Alisha and family in our thoughts.

We will be featuring Christina and what she’s done for our community very soon.

Discussion

34 Responses to “Christina Santiago: 1982 – 2011”

  1. This is just so devasting!! My heart goes out to Christina’s family and partner and lots of prayers that Alisha recovers quickly..

    Posted by Michelle | August 14, 2011, 1:34 pm
  2. christina was my best friend growing up! i am hearing about this one facebook. i need to go to chicago. please help me contact someone! please please! 917-392-6490, please have someone call me. i’m falling apart right now

    Posted by gabrielle rivera | August 14, 2011, 1:40 pm
  3. The hearts and thoughts of all of us at Planned Parenthood of Illinois are with Christina’s fiance, her family and her colleagues. We had the privilege of honoring her with our Bright Horizons award in May. She was so radiant.

    Our staff will join you in mourning this incredible loss to our community at the memorial tonight.

    Posted by Planned Parenthood of Illinois | August 14, 2011, 2:54 pm
  4. I have had the pleasure of working with Christina the past 4 months and she was an incredible asset to Howard Brown Health Center as well as to the client she served. She was taken much to soon and will be sorely missed. G-d bless Christina and her family, and my wife and I, and 2 teenagers wish to express our sincere condolences.

    Posted by Lowell B. Raven, CPA | August 14, 2011, 3:04 pm
  5. Christina and I spoke once about working on a project. She was a very brilliant woman who had high hopes and creative edge for the community in Chicago. Definitely a leader, a tremendous loss.

    Posted by Ashley Joyce | August 14, 2011, 3:33 pm
  6. Such saddening news to hear! Christina was a complete pleasure to work with. She will always be remembered now and forever!!!

    Posted by Carlos Orengo | August 14, 2011, 3:46 pm
  7. She was my childhood bestfriend. One of the best,kind hearted loving, affectionate,caring,giving,smart,warmhearted people GOD has ever blessed this world with. He must have figured out he let one of his angels get away. May she rest eternally in peace with her mother. I love you Nena! Forever your brother- Mike

    Posted by Michael Rico | August 14, 2011, 5:51 pm
  8. My heart goes to the family. I will pray for you.RIP Christina.

    Posted by Monique | August 14, 2011, 6:12 pm
  9. What a sad day. Christina was always so full of life. My thoughts and prayers are with Alisha and their families. You will be sadly missed.

    Posted by Cindy | August 14, 2011, 6:29 pm
  10. Christina, you were truly an inspirational person, the kind you rarely meet. (Natasha never deserved you, and it’s a shame she brought you from NY to Chicago for your beautiful life to end like this.) You were so funny and genuine. Your light will always shine.

    Posted by Sky | August 14, 2011, 10:37 pm
  11. My reflection of Christina Santiago is unlike any of those posted, as I did not know her nor did I personally meet her, but I was at the concert on Saturday night. After spending many hours there before the concert, walking around the fair with my sister-in-law and 9-yr old niece, of whom I accompanied to the concert, and witnessing all the people, the fans and the overall atmosphere, there are few memories that remain…one being that of two women walking down the stairs, towards the concessions, during the second-to-last song of Sara Bareilles. We were walking up, back to our seats, when we witnessed two VERY happy women coming down the stairs…big smiles and such a happy persona. One woman, who I now know to be Alicia, leaned over to my niece and made a silly comment about the large snow cone she was enjoying. 🙂 I remember even looking back at them when we continued upwards and thinking of how happy they seemed and how much fun they were having. Until recently seeing the photos of the specific victims of this enormous tragedy, I didn’t realize that two of these special people were ones who actually made me..and my family… smile…for a few seconds. They both seem like amazing women who have touched so many lives. My thoughts and prayers are with their families and for Alicia’s recovery. The tragedy was/is very shocking and one that didn’t give much warning to all those impacted.

    Posted by Audra | August 14, 2011, 10:57 pm
  12. we lost someone in our community who helped out so very much. Christina will be truly missed. :,(

    Jen.

    Posted by Jen Hernandez | August 14, 2011, 11:08 pm
  13. SKY- You are VERY ignorant too say such a statement. This was an act of god and it is a disgrace to who Christina was to blame this on anything other. I knew Christina for 8 years and she was a very special person that we will all miss forever. This is devastating…my thoughts and prayers are out to all of you who knew her and loved her as we did.

    Posted by Amanda | August 14, 2011, 11:45 pm
  14. @Audra: Thank you for sharing that with us. I’m happy that Christina’s last hour on this earth was filled with love and happiness. She deserved every second of it.

    Posted by Vivian | August 14, 2011, 11:51 pm
  15. I was just blown away this morning watching the news. I guess I still am. I knew Christina and volunteered with her of many occasions. The last time I saw her was when we marched in Pride with Howard Brown this year. We weren’t close friends that hung out but I knew she was an incredible woman! Her presence, vibe, and energy was always incredible and this horrible news is so hard for me.

    Posted by Ruby Miller | August 15, 2011, 5:33 am
  16. My thoughts & prayers go out to Christina’s family as well as to Alisha and her family. Very sad news 🙁 I also hope for Alisha’s full recovery.

    Posted by Mary | August 15, 2011, 5:38 am
  17. This is terrible & tragic. While I didn’t know Christina, she was clearly an amazing person.

    Does anyone know if anything is being put together for her partner? Any kind of assistance or anything?

    Posted by Tina | August 15, 2011, 8:37 am
  18. You were taken to soon from our lives, and have forever left your footprints in our hearts and memories. we will miss you friend:(

    Posted by BARBARA LEE | August 15, 2011, 12:53 pm
  19. I like many others, am in a fog today. The whole community is aching with this loss. My mind is tormented thinking about how we lost a woman who had so much positive emotional influence on everyone she met. My heart weeps for her family and all of us who called her a friend because the loss of that loving and caring relationship, be it long-lived or in just a few encounters, is one that can’t ever reproduced. My soul shudders and cringes for the pain, anguish, devastation that Alisha, her soul mate must feel. As we celebrate the life of one of the greatest people, let alone Chicagoans, that I may ever know let us open our hearts to Alisha. Let us as a community care for, take care of, and support her like we all know Christina would want us all to do. This community has not just two empty shoes to fill with the loss of Christina, it has hundreds. Together we must step up and take on these roles and in the process help heal ourselves and each other. The greatest mistake any of us could make would be to be engulfed in the sorrow that comes with such a loss and not push forward and continue her work however we can. Smile at a stranger, great everyone with a hug, never make an enemy, serve those around you, spread infectious laughter, take up the cause, love often. You don’t have anything until you’ve given part of yourself away. So celebrate her life by being more like she was. And although I will never reach the people she did and my personality will never light a room like hers did. I will try. Everyday. To be just a little more, like Christina.

    Posted by Meg* | August 15, 2011, 1:22 pm
  20. My thoughts & prayers go out to Christina’s family as well as to Alisha and her family. Very sad news 🙁 I also hope for Alisha’s full recovery.alisha plz can u email me im looking for a cuz i would like to know about her fam we might me cuz plz email much me thank u very

    Posted by rosa santiago | August 15, 2011, 4:39 pm
  21. No conocía a Christina, pero dios se ay llevado una gran persona. Christina estas en la gloria con dios, dios te bendiga. Dios bendiga a su pareja y a sus familias y amigos. Dios darles fuerzas para aceptar tu disección. Dios los bendiga.

    Posted by Jackie | August 15, 2011, 5:06 pm
  22. I believe I have crossed paths( or rainbows) with these young ladies. To Alisha, Christinas friends and family I am sorry for your loss. Christina sounds like and amazing person whom made a difference in her life time. Hold on to all your wonderful memories of her.
    Alisha, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that you fight.
    God Bless you.
    Brigitt

    Posted by Brigitt | August 15, 2011, 8:00 pm
  23. I met Christina at a BBQ and I needed help. The LCCP project helped me a lot in the past so when I met her I was so glad she worked there. I told her I needed help and she gave it. It was obvious she was one of those incredible people and she attracted a partner to match. They are were a couple you were envious of, not jealous. It’s not up to us to decide what another’s journey is. I lost the love of my life in a tragic car wreck we were in 25 years ago so this hit home. I’ve learned love is immortal.

    “I am moved by what I cannot save.
    So much has been destroyed.
    I must cast my lot with those who perversely
    time after time, with no extraordinary powers
    reconstitute the world.”
    -Adrienne Rich

    Posted by bj McBride | August 15, 2011, 8:09 pm
  24. I would like to say to Christina’s family that my thoughts and prayers are with you and I am so very sorry for your loss.

    Posted by Alex McFerron | August 15, 2011, 8:28 pm
  25. Hola!! This is Maria (Deaf)Hernandez, I just found out yesterday thru RedEye newspaper and stopped by her workplace was closed yesterday, Monday 15th if possible to give me some information of service or something that I would like to attend for a very lovely Christina was a real pure great lady to communicate with me by signing each others. Please posting me asap. Praying for Christina! Thank you so much, Maria-Deaf

    Posted by Maria Hernandez | August 16, 2011, 9:42 am
  26. Hey Maria, Christina’s service will be in New York this week, Alisha and friends will be planing a service for Christina here in Chicago this weekend as long as she able to make it back home to Chicago. Will let you know that date and location as soon as i know. For the latest updates follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-L-Stop/349309641388

    Posted by Lisa | August 16, 2011, 10:31 am
  27. I’ve never met Christina , I just heard about this beautiful , caring woman full of life while watching the news on television. Reading all the stories about her just brings warmth and sadness to my heart. I wish to express to all who knew her my deepest sympathy .
    AMMV

    Posted by AMMV | August 16, 2011, 1:43 pm
  28. Dear Alisha, Christina’s family, & any many loved ones,

    While there truly are no words that can take away your pain & the enormity of your loss-

    may you find Light for your darkness, strength & peace in the LOVE of your family, loved
    ones, and friends.

    Posted by Lynn | August 17, 2011, 11:40 am
  29. My son was there at the concert and he was one of the men that were trying to help her. Sad to say there was nothing they could do.

    Posted by kathie | August 18, 2011, 12:26 pm
  30. Thank you Kathie, for raising such a courageous man. 🙂

    Posted by Vivian | August 18, 2011, 2:31 pm
  31. My condolences to Christina’s family and her partner.

    Posted by gennee | August 19, 2011, 12:09 pm
  32. I’m coming back to Chicago, after two days of sharing amazing and full of love days with Christina’s family. And had the honor to tell her “see you later girl…”
    It’s going to be dificult to be at HB without her…sticking her tongue out when she passed by my office, having “cafe con aroma de mujer”, and my first stop at her office for some ” chismes” til she got tired and tell me: ” did you take your morning psiqui meds..? Lol… Calling me asking me for Spanish speaking woman translation…lol…. I will miss u girl…xoxo

    Posted by Julio | August 20, 2011, 5:07 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] the meeting I went to the memorial service for a dear colleague, Christina Santiago. When life comes to a full circle we are left with death. Death is something I still have a hard […]

  2. […] I would like to dedicate the Queering Her Health blog to Christina Santiago, the brilliant and fierce queer women’s health activist that held the Manager of LCCP position […]

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