School is now out and this brings much joy and happiness to RJ and Shannon. RJ was blessed with the best first grade teacher any parent could ask for and is ready for the second grade. Many thanks to his teacher, Mrs. Chinchar at St. Bernadette School for her tireless efforts in helping RJ come into his own academically, socially, and spiritually. Thank you for making a difference in RJ’s life.
In June, RJ attended a week-long overnight camp sponsored by our local MDA office. While he was not overly excited (it was his first year), we knew he would have nonstop fun at camp and begin to develop valuable friendships with other kids living with neuromuscular diseases.
After his week at camp, RJ happily proclaimed, “I only want to go back again next year if I can have the same counselor, the same friends in my cabin, and the same food!” Special thanks to Angela (RJ’s counselor) and MDA for an amazing experience. RJ’s favorite things at camp were playing 21 at casino night, steak night, canoeing, fishing, and swimming each day (we can’t wait to tell RJ’s swim teacher he named swimming as a favorite).
RJ takes everything in stride and only recently said, “Mom, I liked it better before my leg problems.” He realizes he can’t compete with his friends and usually just opts out of anything physical or anything that is a physical competition. We hate to say it out loud, but thank goodness for Wii, DS games, and Star Wars movies!
We are truly amazed by RJ’s wonderful group of friends and their acceptance of RJ for what he can do. As adults, we can all learn valuable lessons from the unconditional love that kids have for one another.
RJ’s friends (7-year old boys) say things like:
“I will wait for you RJ.”
“I will never leave you behind.”
“I will shoot a basket for myself then one for you to make it fair.”
“You start running first, RJ, and then I will go in a bit.”
“I won’t jump so hard in the bounce house because RJ doesn’t like it.”
“It is ok that RJ has to swing several times before he hits the baseball.”
We hope this honeymoon phase that RJ is currently in continues longer than average before we will begin to see increased weakness and overall fatigue. Please continue to pray for a treatment and a cure to happen in time to make a real difference in RJ’s life.