After a brave 9-month battle with cancer, Carolina Dunstan died in her bed at home in the arms of her husband surrounded by friends at the way too young age of 40 while her 4 yr old daughter played blissfully in her bedroom upstairs. Carolina was born on December 4th, 1978 to Aurora Mora and José Domingo in Bogotá, Colombia as the second of four children.
She received her degrees in Social Work from Universidad Externado de Colombia and University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Carolina met her husband, Stephen, in Bogotá while he was studying at The Pontifica University Javeriana and she was working for the Colombian government’s Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) with national and international adoptions.
On November 11, 2009 Carolina and Stephen married at their home in Virginia followed by a beautiful large Catholic family wedding inside the Parroquia San Francisco de Paula in Madrid, Colombia the following year. Carolina became a United States citizen on July 4th, 2014 at Monticello. Carolina was so passionate about her profession as a social worker at ReadyKids in Charlottesville that she was working the night before she died, despite her sometimes debilitating illness.
She loved helping children and families develop life skills to obtain a future rich with possibilities. She also loved traveling the world from Australia, to Brazil, to Moscow, to Morocco, the United States, and all of Europe. She taught her daughter the love of gardening, the profound beauty of art in the Louvre and Musée D’Orsay, and how to raise glorious butterflies from minuscule eggs found in our butterfly gardens. But mostly, as all who knew her would agree, she bestowed upon her daughter her deep love, concern, kindness and respect of life in all it’s forms.
Carolina is survived by her husband, Stephen and their 4 year old daughter, Nina. Her parents, Aurora Mora de Figueredo and José Domingo Figueredo Bernal, traveled to Virginia many times, stayed several months, and valiantly fought her cancer at her side. Carolina’s oldest sister, Monica just left Virginia to return to Australia after giving a couple weeks of heart-warming and spirit-lifting care to Carolina. Monica returned to the arms of her husband, Diego, and their wonderful children, Juan Esteban and Isabela. In constant contact from Barcelona, Spain, Carolina’s younger sister, Lina, used her medical background to ease her sister’s pain throughout the series of radiation and chemotherapy treatments and her animated son, Markel, provided love and laughter to ease the stress. Carolina’s only brother, Alejandro, constantly called with love and light from Brisbane, Australia, to raise her spirits. He never failed to leave a huge smile full of love and hope on her radiant face. From La Dorada, Caldas, in Colombia, Carolina’s sweet and graceful grandmother, Herminda Lopez de Mora along with Carolina’s Godson, Juan Felipe, maintained daily contact to send blessings and love. Carolina’s Father-in-law, William Morgan Dunstan, loved her deeply and was a guiding light and beautiful example for his son, Stephen. When Stephen’s Mom, William’s wife, Joan, was stricken with cancer in 2002, William immediately retired and cared lovingly for her until her death in 2009.
Carolina was loved by so many people throughout the world. There will be two memorial services in Colombia on Sunday. One in La Dorada, Caldas at the Parroquia Sagrado Corazón, Barrio La Magdalena on Sunday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. Another will be in Bogotá at Iglesia Parroquia Nuestra Señora de La Medalla Milagrosa Carrera 68 B No. 24 – 30 frente al CC Salitre on Sunday, July 7 at 12:00 noon. In Charlottesville, Virginia, a funeral mass will be held 2:oo p.m. on Sunday, July 7, 2019 at Hill and Wood Funeral Service 201 North First Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Officiating the mass will be Father Diego Leon Riuz Franco from La Dorada, Caldas, Colombia. Father Diego Ruiz officiated, 4 years ago, at the baptism of Carolina and Stephen’s daughter, Nina and flew up here specifically for this mass. We are eternally grateful to him. We are also eternally grateful to the amazingly talented, compassionate, and loving team of doctors and nurses (some of whom are dear, dear friends) at the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center in Charlottesville.
Carolina’s tenacity was matched by their steadfast resolve to pursue every possible idea to cure her of this aggressive disease that affects less than 100 people a year. We would also especially like to thank all the wonderful guides, staff and families of Mountaintop Montessori School, where Nina attends and the passionate social workers at ReadyKids, also in Charlottesville. These incredible people provided Carolina’s family with months and months of spiritual, nutritional, and emotional support. At ReadyKids, Carolina was able to fulfill her dreams as a social worker of helping families and children to live healthy, intelligent, and meaningful lives. We ask that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Carolina’s name to ReadyKids.
Click here to make a donation to ReadyKids in Memory of Carolina Dunstan.