There are times when we consider people who have become successful in their endeavors, and we may ask ourselves, “Are they really worth it?” When Mirna Quintana shares her story, starting from when she got her insurance license just over 20 years ago and explains all that has transpired up to today, you will quickly realize that she is worth her weight in gold.
A Life of Service
A little over 20 years ago, Mirna and her husband ran a repair shop that serviced the fleet trucking industry. She had a close friend named Alberta who contracted ovarian cancer that left her needing constant treatment and care. Mirna stepped away from her role at the repair shop and sprung into action as caretaker for Alberta. “I would drive her back and forth to the hospital, feed her, bathe her, and take care of her. I wouldn’t leave her.”
With medical bills that went far beyond what Alberta’s group health insurance policy was covering, Mirna decided to get her insurance license to better understand ways that she could help her friend from a financial perspective. “I had to fight for my friend to get her into programs to continue her care,” she said.
A career that began as a service to her friend continues to this day and has been a blessing to thousands of Medicare beneficiaries across central Florida. It’s hard to imagine anything that Mirna wouldn’t do for a client. This week alone, she is guiding one prospect who is leaving the workforce and hasn’t yet enrolled in Part B while assisting another client with qualifying for Medicaid.
And while these services are certainly part of what a veteran Medicare Sales Specialist provides, finding a tile installer for an elderly client whose 54-year-old son died of COVID is going a little above and beyond. Oh, and hunting down the tile installer came after cleaning much of the client’s home!
Mirna helped another client, who needed significant home repairs, qualify for a subsidized home weatherization program. “It’s not just selling the plan. It’s letting them know that you’re there,” she said. “Some of them don’t have anybody. It makes me feel like I’ve made a difference in someone else’s life.”
Sink or Swim
It turned out that the time Mirna spent caring for her friend Alberta many years ago was just a precursor of the life that awaited her. Eighteen years ago, when Mirna’s daughter Jenny was 24 years old, she had a massive brain injury that would leave her requiring continuous care for the remainder of her life. Mirna had to face the reality that both her and her daughter’s lives were forever changed in a drastic way.
“For 18 years I’ve been taking care of my daughter 7 days a week. She’s a gift.”
Sadly, it was only a few years after this event that Mirna’s husband began struggling with a severe mental disorder, which left Mirna caring for both her daughter and her husband, all while trying to financially support the family.
During it all, much of the economy crumbled in 2008, and Mirna’s husband fled to Puerto Rico, leaving the family behind to fend for themselves. Penniless and abandoned, Mirna decided it was time to get serious about putting her insurance license to work. And she decided to give Medicare product sales a try.
“It was sink or swim. There were times I went to bed hungry. And I said I’m going to go to work, I’m going to bust the pavement… because I have to make it.”
Surviving & Thriving
Having faced a level of adversity that most of us simply can’t imagine, Mirna proved what a strong woman is capable of when her back is against the wall. She didn’t have time to feel sorry for herself. She was determined to survive; for herself and for Jenny.
Mirna initially found her way through seminars. She partnered with a couple of plan sponsors and hit the seminar trail. Her hustle landed over $50,000 in commissions for AEP and OEP. Every bit of it was needed to keep her family above water. “I didn’t even know what I was doing… It’s what saved me from losing everything I had,” she said.
Fast forward to six years ago, Mirna completed a major goal: building a home that could accommodate her daughter. “My dream was to build a house that was handicapped accessible and get her home whenever I could and see her every day,” she said.
Mirna also had a house built for her parents, both in their 90’s, just two miles down the road from the home she had built for her and Jenny. Mirna has shared her success with those she loves and doesn’t show any signs of stopping. Yet with so many to take care of, there is little time to celebrate.
“This is what life made me become,” says Mirna, who hasn’t taken a vacation in over 18 years. “Trust me when I tell you that work is therapy for me.”
Flexibility & Freedom
Even though Mirna isn’t afforded the luxury of much downtime, she is very thankful to have a career that gives her the freedom to spend time with Jenny daily. “It’s been a long journey,” she says. “It’s been very hard. But the good thing about this work is that it’s given me the ability to spend more time with her, and corporate America can’t tell me I can’t spend time with my daughter.”
With over 600 clients (or family members, as Mirna might call them), a tremendous work ethic, and empathy to spare, Mirna is in a good place and appreciative of it all. And while she knows there’s more opportunity out there, her real pursuit is spending quality time with Jenny. “I can go out and make more money. But to me, it’s more important to spend time with my daughter,” she says. “Jenny is my life. She is my everything.”
Mirna is as sweet and humble as they come. But the strength within her is undeniable. So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, feeling defeated, feeling like life isn’t fair, gain strength in thinking of Mirna. Remember her story and her words.
“When people say ‘I can’t do this,’ it’s because they don’t want to do it,” she explains. “Anything you give me to do, I’m going to learn it, and I’m going to master it. I’m not afraid.”
Mirna Quintana is living proof that the desire to succeed could be the start of something truly amazing.