Interested in a cure for seizures? Here's where you can immediately help.

Feel free to share any of these posts. There are no copyrights on any of them, they are for anyone, anyplace, anytime for whatever reason. All of my love, from a man who just simply misses his son, and believes in the decency of people around the world,

**To reach the author of this blog Mike, the best email account is a silly one, but goes right to my phone. Technology is so cool. Its Thank you for reading this blog, and its been such a good project, in that it has helped others and me as well. May you all live life to the fullest, we have no idea when it shall be our last "dance."

With much love, I am proud of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. If you can help them, and families with this condition, please consider donating to them at They are on Charity Navigator, and have done a phenomenal job over the years, on the awareness and research side.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

School Children at Little Run in Fairfax, VA Give All to Those with Special Needs

The past week has been a bit rough, as while everyday I miss my son Tommy who passed away from an Angelman Syndrome related seizure in 2009, there are rays of sunshine that far outweigh the pain. Yesterday was one of these moments, as I visited the school that became more than just our educators, but rather members of our family. Tommy was so blessed to go to Little Run Elementary, which is located in between Annandale and the City of Fairfax. Their administrators, staff, teachers, assistants, and therapists helped Tommy, and in turn greatly assisted us as well, when he was alive and afterwards. They are always in my mind and heart, so I visited them yesterday, where they have a beautiful memorial in front of the school to Tommy. I remember crying at this service, and how the rain poured down that day, which was prophetic as his love of water was second to none.

Yesterday, I smiled looking at his memorial, and the bush with red flowers that are about to bloom next to it. After going inside and meeting with the Principal, whom I deeply respect, I learned something that made the sadness go away even further. When Tommy was at Little Run, they had "Peer Helpers." These are mainstream students, who volunteer to work with preschoolers whom have special needs. Its a great project, as it is mutually beneficial, and many of the students volunteer every year. As I've mentioned before, in high school we had special needs children in the building, and I was very uncomfortable. I never harbored ill feelings or any kind of resentment, but seeing a person with special needs would make me "clam up" a bit, as I just didn't know how to react.

I found out from the Principal, that the students are volunteering as "Peer Helpers" so much, that they are simply overwhelmed by the sheer number. What a joy this is, and some of the students want to give up their free time at lunch or recess to work with a fellow youngster, with special needs. This is proof of pure, innocent love, and to say that I was touched is an understatement. We have come a long way from my days in the stone age, and to hear of children wanting to sacrifice their free time to work with a child that needs an extra hand, well that caused me to cry tears of happiness and of thanks. Little Run has always been at the forefront of programs for children with special needs, and they really are a "community school." The children graduating to middle school and further, are never going to forget this experience, and are going to be advocates for those who have intellectual disabilities.

Thank you Little Run Elementary. Once again, you've somehow managed to enter our family's life again, and in such a beautiful way. If any students from Little Run, or their parents read this, I hope they realize that they've helped a grieving father, along with students who have challenges, but whom never give up. Just like Tommy, the children who are going the extra mile to work with children with disabilities, they are true champions, and they've helped more people than they will ever know. It has been proven that mainstream students who work with children with intellectual disabilities, grow up to have good character, along with doing better academically than those who do not. That has been proven in numerous studies, along with family members by sociologists. God bless you all who were a part of Tommy's life at Little Run, and who continue to keep his legacy alive, along with making such positive inroads into so many families. You have made me smile, and I think that even though this world is sometimes a "messed up fishbowl," there's a place of refuge where compassion, understanding, and good hearts reign supreme. That is Little Run Elementary, and they should be proud of their great work, and all of their accomplishments.