Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Walk--and a Push--for His Brother

In the picture: Roberto and Marco are front and center with their mom (far left), dad (far right) and family friends.

Like a lot of brothers, Roberto and Marco like wrestling and playing together. "When I wrestle with Marco and pick him up, that makes him happy," says Roberto, 9, who seems to have a special window into what his little brother is thinking. So it's no surprise that Roberto became an enthusiastic supporter of the Central Park Challenge a few years ago when Marco attended the YAI Network's Roosevelt Children's Center, a preschool for children who need a lot of medical and staff support. Marco, who is 5, has multiple disabilities, including blindness, as a result of Sturge-Weber syndrome. 

Marco graduated from Roosevelt last year and now attends a school at the Jewish Guild for the Blind. But Roberto didn't see why his family shouldn't keep supporting the Central Park Challenge. "Roberto loves wearing his Central Park Challenge t-shirt over and over and he specifically asked me if we could do it again this year," said Linda, the boys' mom.

Their family, joined this year by baby Francesca, will be walking with Jack's Team. Jack is one of Marco's former classmates at Roosevelt. The family is happy to be giving back to the school. "We want to support the services at YAI, because it's a wonderful place for our children to grow in a safe environment," Linda says. "My son can't talk, so you want to know that he's safe in a nurturing and stimulating environment."

They also see the Central Park Challenge as a way to expose kids to people of different abilities in a fun and festive atmosphere. "Friends who have gone have had a really great time and that's a really good reason to come to the Central Park Challenge, especially if you have small children. It's a great community event, a fun thing for the kids and the music is great," Linda says. "It's an educational opportunity for kids, but on the other hand, they just have plain fun."

Linda says that Roberto most looks forward to pushing his brother's chair in the 3K Walk. "Marco loves going fast," says Roberto. "I gather up all my strength and push him really fast and it makes him laugh.

"We have a lot of fun together. I love Marco, he deals with all of this. I'm lucky to have him."

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marsha said...

Great story! It is wonderful that Roberto is so supportive of Marco.

Anonymous said...

As the maternal grandmother, I am very proud of all of them.

Pauline B. Larach

Pepe and Meme said...

These occasions give life it's true meaning and purpose - support and enjoy - Well done all who are involved in this endeavour! Loving hugs to our very special grandchildren Roberto, Marco and Francesca, and to their incredible parents Linda and Rolando.

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