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9/23/15-

Dear Tom,

I am writing to you about my courageous step-son, Johnathan Ramirez. This young child started his life at 1 pound, 5 ounces and was small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Doctors at Duke university medical center gave him little chance of survival, but they didn’t give up on him and neither did his loving mother, who gave him around the clock attention.

Johnathan had a blood flow disorder in his heart and had to have multiple heart surgeries to correct it. Complicating all of this, he had pulmonary problems, asthma and required oxygen therapy. Near death experiences for this little guy was a constant, but he pulled through them all.

Tom, I am proud to say since I met this spirited boy when he was almost two- years old, I have watched and witnessed his fight for life.   Johnny is now 9 years-old and he has been asking for a new bike.

He is still riding the one he’s had since he was a toddler.  However, because of his slight frame and weakened lower body he will need a special trike that can accommodate his physical limitations.  Unfortunately, that also means that it costs much more than your standard bicycle.  He also wanted me to ask for one for his 6 year-old brother too.   That’s the way this child is.  The two of them are so close—like white on rice, like ice and mike, like Tom, Sybil and J.!

You can imagine the financial strain this has been on my family, especially with four other children, but just to see Johnny with his ‘big cheesy face’ smile— that’s his nick name when he plays baseball with the miracle league of Raleigh— is worth all our struggles.  Please consider Johnny for a Christmas Wish of an adaptive bike and one standard, two-wheeler with training wheels for his brother, little Steven.

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