Welcome to Team Hope!
Jolee and I have decided to play a vital role in transforming the lives of children with life threatening medical conditions by taking part in the Trailblaze Challenge for Make-A-Wish. On September 8th, We will hike 26 miles in Bear Mountain to raise both money and awareness for local Make-A-Wish kids.
This will be a big undertaking, especially for two novice hikers, but our struggle is nothing compared to that of three local Greenwich wish kids who face more significant challenges each day. As a wish granter, I have had the privelage of getting to know Sam Buck, Steven Sudell and Andrew Marella very well and am inspired by their courage and strength. Sam Buck is 7 years old and has a rare progressive condition called Vanishing White Matter Disease but he doesn’t let his physical limitations dampen his spirit. His sparkling blue eyes and giant smile light up the room and melt your heart at the same time! Sam’s wish to go to the Formula One Grand Prix was granted and he even got to meet Louis Hamilton! 14 year Steven Sudell bravely battles a malignant brain tumor. Despite multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, Steven continues to fight like a champ and stay #Sudellstrong. He even managed to cheer on his Maverick teammates this season and inspired the whole team with his courage topped with an award winning smile. The entire GYFL sported Team Sudell shirts in support of our MVP. Stevens wish to go to the Bahamas, go deep sea fishing and play golf was granted in February. Each picture of his bright smile during the trip demonstrates the power of a wish. Andrew Marella is 19 years old and was diagnosed with Neimann-Pick type C, a rare progressive genetic disease at age 5. Andrew has Undergone many treatments and has participated in various drug trials at the NIH, despite risk to himself, in the hopes of helping to find a cure for Neimann-Pick type C. His current drug trial, which he has been in for over four years, requires that he undergo spinal tap twice a month. Despite the physical impact of treatments and trials, Andrew stays positive and never gives up hope of helping to find a new treatment and possibly discovering a much needed cure for NPC. Andrew and his family founded Dana’s Angels Research Trust ( DART) when Andrew was older sister, Dana, was diagnosed. Sadly, Dana passed away from Nieman pack five years ago at the age of 19. Andrew’s wish to go to Disney will be granted this fall!
Although Jolee and I are both intimidated by a 26 mike hike, and the possibility of running into a bear, we are moved and inspired by these three amazing young men and want to honor them by helping to raise money to grant more wishes. We hope you will support us and make a donation which will not only motivate us to the finish, but will help us bring hope, strength, and joy to local Make-A-Wish families.
Robin and Jolee
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