Fifty two years ago an exceptionally generous and loving couple decided to selflessly and whole heartedly give the gift of life to a five-week old baby girl. That is where my story begins. Rubin and Beverly Mariano brought me home to my big brother AKA Mike-O and he smiled like he just hit the lotto! The fact is I was the one who truly did hit the lotto - the lotto of life and the lotto of parents. Some say we choose our parents before we are born and I could not have chosen a more perfect mother or father for myself. We laughed, we yelled, we cried, we loved and we grew, teaching each other valuable life lessons along the way. Not only did mom and dad open their home to me, they opened it to anyone we brought in and made every single person feel welcomed and wanted. My parents, Beverly and Rubin, were two truly remarkable human beings and I was blessed to call them Mom and Dad. Having lost both of them way too soon to Cancer I am using this campaign to raise funds for weSPARK, the cancer support center that has been an integral part of my grieving process. Without their support and programs I would have felt afraid, alone, bitter and lost. I continue to utilize the therapies offered at WeSPARK as grief is a lifelong process that is taken day by day. I don’t know when it ends, or if it ends, but I know I am able to confront each day with strength and dignity thanks to the programs and people at weSPARK. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Any contribution you can give to my fundraiser, big or small, makes a difference.
With love and gratitude,