Nearly 30 years ago, Kristin Brown’s life was saved by former Odessa Police Department Sgt. Jordan Medrano.
Brown is returning the favor after Medrano was diagnosed with liver cancer in September 2018.
The 29-year-old Odessan has started a GoFundMe page to help with Medrano’s medical bills and travel expenses.
“I don’t know if I’m saving him in the way that he saved me, but I want to do everything I can to help,” Brown said. “I want to do that for him and his family, because they deserve it so much.”
On Aug. 18, 1989, Brown was abandoned as a two-hour old infant in the bed of a pickup parked outside a 7-Eleven at the intersection of University Boulevard and Andrews Highway.
Brown said Medrano was the responding officer who helped take her to Medical Center Hospital. The hospital gave her the name Baby Girl Doe.
After she was treated at MCH, she was taken in by her adoptive parents at three days old. She said it took about a year before her adoption was finalized. She stayed in Odessa until she was 5 years old and then lived in Missouri for the next 24 years.
Medrano said he wanted to adopt Brown after he found her in the 7-Eleven parking lot.
“This little child shouldn’t have been left like this,” Medrano said. “I always wondered what happened to her. I always wondered if my children were friends of her. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think about her.”
In July of 2018, Brown returned to Odessa to retrace her steps. She was reunited with Medrano at the Odessa Police Department after he read some articles in the news that Brown was returning to Odessa. Brown found out Medrano had been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. The two have kept in constant contact since they were reunited.
“Since July, we’ve kept in touch,” Brown said. “I spent Thanksgiving with his family and I’ve been really close with his family. I talk with Sgt. Medrano a lot through text messaging. I give him words of encouragement and he gives it right back.”
Brown knows the toll cancer can cause on a family.
In March of 2018, Brown’s father died of lung cancer. She said that void of a father figure was taken over by Medrano. Brown added she’s closer to the Medrano family than her biological mother, whom Brown found through a DNA match. Brown also stated that her mother told her that she suppressed any memory of her. Brown’s blog chronicles her search for her biological family.
“It was a big gift, because someone remembered me,” Brown said. “Someone was thinking about me all of these years. Somebody cared. It was heartbreaking that my biological mother was so cold, but it was the biggest gift that this wonderful man cared all of these years.”
Brown started the GoFundMe page on Jan. 21 with the goal of $5,000. As of Wednesday, the funds had reached $3,172. Brown said the funds will help Medrano travel to and from Houston for cancer treatments.
Medrano retired from OPD in 2016 and spends his retirement taking care of his three grandchildren. He said he tries to enjoy all the moments he can with them. He added that he tries to visit family and go fishing as much as he can. He said fishing helps clear his mind.
“It’s an awesome feeling, because people are so generous,” Brown said. “They care about officer Medrano so much. He changed my life, he changed lives before that and he’s changed live after that. He is a noble man.
“I was surprised by people’s generosity, but I wasn’t surprised that people cared. I was hoping that everyone gave $20 and we could raise it that way. I didn’t expect to give hundreds of dollars.”