As a member of the design team on the popular series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Eduardo Xol helps improve the lives of a family in need every week for ABC TV. Off camera, Xol, the eldest of three siblings in a close-knit Mexican-American family, is helping his sister, Monica Cajayon, cope with lupus. He not only provides an understanding ear and a strong shoulder, but also has put his landscaping talents to work by designing a relaxing Zen garden retreat in her backyard.
“We’ve always been there for each other, not only as brother and sister, but as friends, with moral support and understanding,” says Xol, who, at 45, is five years older than Cajayon. “There have been moments when she has felt awful, and like nobody really understands. She calls me, and I just allow her to vent.” In turn, he says, “She’s let me lean on her shoulder if need be. We’ve been close our whole lives. I think it comes from our parents and relatives who taught us how important family bonds are, and the love and respect we were taught from a very young age that reinforced our relationship. Friends can come and go, but family is always there for you if you nurture that relationship.”
Read more at Lupus Now Magazine.