The Romito's have three children living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Their 2-story home was no longer suitable for the family since they need to carry the boys, ages 13, 7 and 5, up and down all the steps in their home. In a few short years all three boys will be in wheel chairs and the small ranch home they are renting won't be big enough for 3 wheel chairs.
Click here for more info and The Plan
About the Family
The Romito Family consists of Richard, a police officer, Jamie, a registered nurse, Nick 20, Dominic 13, Collin 7 and Kaleb 5. In 2007 the family was hit with devastating news of Dominic being diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). The neurologist explained to them that Dominic’s muscles would rapidly deteriorate, he would lose the ability to walk, to use his arms, the ability to take care of himself. Eventually it would weaken his heart and lungs and then the disease would take his life.
When they asked the Doctor, “ what do we do?” The Doctor replied “nothing”. It’s 100% fatal. Take your son home, love him and provide him with the best quality of life possible. Richard and Jamie have two more children Collin and Kaleb and they too have been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The devastation had just increased times three. One of the most anticipated milestones of parenthood is a child’s first step. We watch with pride as our deepest love toddles towards independence. Cheering them on, we think about the changes their simple steps set into motion. Our hearts thrill with the promise of the future.
Now think of anticipating your child’s last steps.
Parents should never have to contemplate their children’s last steps, not once, not twice, not three times. Yet that is the reality for the Romito family.
“If I could trade places with them, I would…but I can’t.”
For Richard Romito, this is one of the few places he uses the word “can’t”. He can’t take the place for any one of his three sons, living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. “Can’t… is not an option. I will make a difference.” Richard, a police officer in Colorado, wears his uniform with pride, but the role of officer, pales in comparison to his role in the DMD community. Richard is committed to providing fulfilling life experiences for his children, and others living with DMD. Through his development of the Romito Foundation, Rich provides a yearly DMD camp for the Rocky Mountain region. The foundation also takes these kids on outings during the year, such as fishing, sporting events and providing some much needed social opportunities.
At home the family is learning to live with DMD. Each day a new lesson, a new stage in the disease’s progression and new problems. On a public servant salary, meeting the needs of 3 boys needing wheelchairs is proving difficult.
“This can’t be happening…” the news of having one child diagnosed with DMD is devastating for any family. For Richard and his wife Jamie, learning three of their sons suffered from this horrible genetic disorder was beyond unimaginable.
How you can help
Fast forward to 2014, Dominic relies on his scooter (the step before a full time wheelchair) a majority of the time. Collin has recently began to make use of his scooter, and Kaleb gets carried around by his parents, or rides with Collin. Long distance walking is a problem for all 3 boys as their muscles tire out quickly. Stairs are impossible for Dominic and hard for Kaleb and Collin to climb. A 2 story home just doesn’t work.
This is where you are needed.
We are accepting donations. Please donate what you can for the family to build a home that they need. The project is just starting and we need your help.
Why is this home so important? For families living with DMD, every “no” and “can’t” builds a wall between them and their family and friends.
“Mom, can I go to the sleepover?”
“No, there are stairs in that house.”
“Would your family like to join us for Thanksgiving dinner?”
“I’m sorry, we can’t. The wheelchair(s) won’t fit into the bathroom, through the doors, or go up the stairs…”
As walls build with each “no” and “can’t” a feeling of being “unconnected” invades the lives of parents and child, alike. This home will be the place the boys can have friends over, and allow them to carry on the daily tasks we all take for granted, on their own.
We will provide updates as we have them, but it starts with raising money to make this home a reality! Unfortunately funds raised by the Romito Foundation cannot go to helping his family, they can only help the foundations mission, which is to improve the treatment and quality of life for all those living with DMD.
If there was ever a family that both needs and deserves it, the Romito family is it. Richard risks his life everyday to protect and help others not just in his profession but in the DMD community. Jamie is now a full time caregiver to their children three children at home. Now they need your help. He’s a hero in every sense of the word. Please find it in your heart to help this family who helps so many others.
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