Background information is that Marianna is my oldest and dearest friend. We became close as freshman in high school when we connected at a church youth group we both attended. Our parents informed us that we had gone to Sunday School together as 4-year-olds at a different church both families attended when we were itty-bitty. When we saw photos of one another at around age 4 we both remembered the other one! I remembered her long, blonde hair that her mother often styled in beautiful curls and she remembers my long, brown hair. As high schoolers we were inseparable. We remained close until she moved away for a bit in early college but when she moved back at the end of college, we got an apartment together and were roommates until I got married in 2000. Marianna is a "forever friend," and if you have one, you know what I mean. We were in one another's weddings and rejoiced with one another over the birth of our children. She's the girl I can not talk to for months at a time and then pick up where we left off as if no time has passed.
Marianna has a 3-year-old, Andrew, who has cerebral palsy, as well as 1-year-old, Michael. At Andrew's birth, Marianna and Andrew both almost died but miraculously, they both lived. It was a frightening time for all of us. But due to balls dropped by medical professionals involved Andrew was without oxygen long enough during the birth process that he sustained a baby-sized stroke(s) and this caused his cerebral palsy. Marianna and her husband are among the strongest people I have ever known and have been through incredible, unexplainable pain, frustration and difficulty. Throughout it they have stuck together, stood by Andrew, advocated for him in every possible way, and all this while Marianna's husband works on his doctorate at Nortre Dame. It kills me to not live in the same town as Marianna...we live in Central California...and to only be able to support her by phone and email. She is my biggest hero and I love her husband and sons to death!
That's why it was horrible to hear that they were victimized. A scrap metal thief stole the wheelchair lift that had been designated for their Andrew from the non-profit agency that was helping them get this lift. Can you believe that? After all they've been through. But look at how even this has turned out for the good and not only that we can all contribute to it, as well.
Double-click on the link below to watch this incredible t.v. news story about Marianna and her family:
I'm going to forward any comments you leave to Marianna, Sweets, so if you don't mind, will you leave the comments for Marianna? I'd love that!
Thank you all in advance for your sweet comments, support and even financial support if you feel led to send it. There's an address on that news story but if by chance that link stops working and you need the address for the fund again, just pop me an email and I'll send it to you.