Its hard to imagine not having two working legs. But for a 17-year-old amputee that’s his reality. As a child in South Africa he was left on the doorsteps of an orphanage with nothing and very little hope for a happy future until a Staten Island woman decided to adopt him.
Laura Calamuci, Christian Calamuci’s mother felt like God was smiling at her the first time she set eyes on her little boy in an orphanage in South Africa, citing that her son’s life there was horrific, saying at times he would get burned and mistreated. And not just that, but if he would have continued living there with his two deformed legs, he would have been given a skateboard and flip flops so he could glide to where he needed to go. To Laura, it really was no life for a young boy with so much potential and someone that she felt like she could honestly help.
Now 11 years after he came to the United States with Laura, his American mother is watching her son thrive.
Explaining to local news, her son was born and lived most of his life with deformed legs that literally made “a perfect circle” because one knee was on one side of his body and the other was on the back.
The shape also explained why he “couldn’t stand for more than 2 minutes” and in that position, he couldn’t run because his legs couldn’t bend. So until his legs were recently amputated by a doctor, he would rely on a wheelchair for the times he couldn’t muster enough strength to walk around.
But thanks to his recent surgery, he’s been able to get a new pair of legs. But they are extremely expensive.
To raise the money that insurance will not cover, his mother is holding fundraisers to help pay for the bionic legs, limbs that allow the 17-year-old amputee to dance, run and walk just like his classmates and friends. However, the steep cost of $200,000 and the ongoing mounting medical expenses that go with it, leave his family unsure about how they will continue to pay for all of it.
In the hopes to ease the financial burden the family faces, a grassroots non-profit called the Emergency Children’s Help Organization (ECHO) has stepped in to help. Saying that they will match up to $30,000 of the money the family raises for Christian’s expenses.
According to the GoFundMe page set up by Christian’s mother, they are at $26,000 of their $100,000 goal.
Executive director Pasquale Loporcaro explained the organization is dedicated to helping all children just like Christian who live near and far. Saying,”We’ll pay medical bills, we’ll buy medical equipment, provide food, clothing, even pay travel expense for a child needing to seek treatment outside of the New York metropolitan area.” And Laura says her son really has earned this opportunity. Stating, “This is a whole new life for him and he deserves it.”
The Christian Calamuci GoFundMe page is still accepting donations.
(H/T: ABC7 NY)
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