From Rachelle Sparks (mommy blogger):
I (virtually) met the Madonia family through an old high school friend, who posted on my FB page that Andrew Madonia and his family were on a cruise to the Bahamas for his Make-A-Wish trip – and from the looks of the website Andrew’s parents, Paul and Jessica, keep for him (http://prayingforandrew.org/), it was the trip of a lifetime.
As Paul writes, “Andrew has perked up and really been doing so much better since the Disney Cruise. He really seems to have a lot more drive to keep pushing on and in some instances kind of seems to be getting better.”
Andrew Madonia suffers from Mitochondrial Disease (aka “Mito”). While there are too many symptoms to list, here are a few: weakened immune system, muscle weakness, asthma, feeding tube, GERD/acid reflux, leg misalignment, facial paralysis , petit mal seizures, delays in fine and gross motor skills, sensory issues , lack of physiological development, and migraines.
From birth, Andrew showed signs that things weren’t quite right, and while doctors told Paul and Jessica he would most likely “grow out of it,” their guts told them otherwise. After two years of trying to figure out what was going on with their son, doctors finally gave them the diagnosis.
As Paul writes on his blog, “Many of us have been knocked down, broken, and felt our world crumbling to pieces when faced with difficult times. Andrew experiences these things everyday but does not give up…he’s a true fighter.”
This is one of the reasons I wanted to feature the Madonias as the first recipient of Mission: Food for Families. They face fear and uncertainty with courage, strength, and faith, and Andrew faces it all with smiles. Even during the most painful procedures, Paul says Andrew has a smile on his face and thanks doctors and nurses when they’re done poking and prodding.
With a life so consumed by hospital visits and doctor appointments, with your help, we can raise money to provide fully-prepared meals for this family – one less thing for them to worry about – through homebistro.dinewise.com (http://homebistro.dinewise.com). Let’s help take one thing off the Madonias’ plate – cooking dinners – so they can, instead, do what they enjoy most: spending time with one another.
While Andrew’s activities are often limited by his disease, he continues to do the things he has always loved doing – playing with his service dog, Quade, playing soccer, Legos, dress up, watching movies, and playing Mario Kart on the Wii.
This is a wonderful family who has gone through a lot, and wants to share the lessons they have taken away from it all. After starting a Prayer Warriors page on their website (http://prayingforandrew.org/?page_id=608) and seeing the support they received, Paul and Jessica realized the impact they could have on their readers.
Paul said their website has been a way for them to “keep Andrew’s story out there for others struggling with similar issues. We have been deeply humbled and blessed throughout the whole experience. We have learned to be thankful for what we have.”
Rachelle Sparks, Author of “Once Upon A Wish: True Inspirational Stories of Make-A-Wish Children” www.onceuponawishbook.com
– See more at: http://www.youcaring.com/other/mission-food-for-families-the-madonia-family-/126463#sthash.M4rD4e00.dpuf