Communities Join Forces for a SuperHero Shuffle
On Sunday, May 7, more than 1,000 people participated in the ATI Foundation SuperHero Shuffle & SuperKids Miler - Powered by Manny's Mission in Romeoville, IL to help raise more than $27,500 for local children with physical impairments. Thanks to all of the runners, walkers, sponsors and volunteers, a total of FIVE children and their families were presented with financial assistance at the event.
Over 100 volunteers worked tirelessly over the past nine months in preparation of the event, and on event day, to create a successful outcome. Local businesses, including Fat Ricky’s, Peter Rubi, Fit to be Fried, Fork in the Road and Donut Den generously donated food for all in attendance. Zen Events Group donated time and sound equipment to emcee the event and after-party. Countless other raffle donors and sponsors, including Associated Orthodontists, Metal Monkey Brewing Company and ATI Physical Therapy, were vital to the event’s overall success.
Charlie, age 12
Glen Ellyn, IL
The first beneficiary presentation took place at the starting line just before the 5K race. 12-year-old Charlie Lettenburg and his parents were introduced to the crowd of runners and walkers by Terry Williams, ATI Foundation Director. Charlie, who suffers from arthrogryposis, used his motorized wheelchair to move front and center to proudly accept the introduction. A check for $4,000 to cover the expense of an adaptive bicycle was handed directly to him and the crowd cheered as he took the microphone to say a few words:
I would just like to thank ATI for this grant. I really am looking forward to riding my adaptive bike, and it will just be an amazing summer. Maybe next year, I will even be in this race!
Ahalya, age 16
Glen Ellyn, IL
Following that, Charlie’s parents accepted another check for his sister, Ahalya Lettenburg, who was not in attendance due to AP placement testing. 16-year-old Ahalya, who also has arthrogryposis, will be competing in the Paralympic Games. The ATI Foundation will be paying for some of her upcoming competition expenses.
Ryan, age 14
The family of Ryan Owen took the stage after the 5K race concluded. Unfortunately, the guest of honor was unable to attend due to illness. The teen suffers from cerebral palsy and needs nursing care that is currently not covered by insurance or other resources. The ATI Foundation presented a check to pay for two months of nursing care. Ryan’s step-father, Frank Lato, expressed the family’s gratitude. “He is our whole world, and anyone who meets him falls head over heels in love with him. He is the reason we fight so hard in everything we do, because everything we do in this life is for him. Thank you for relieving some of the financial burden so we can focus on keeping him healthy,” said Lato. “We wouldn’t be able to do so without our team of nurses, so these funds will help greatly in paying for the extra nursing hours Ryan needs. Thank you again.”
Thank you for relieving some of the financial burden so we can focus on keeping him healthy.
Following that, it was announced that Rick and Erin DiPego, event sponsors and owners of Fat Ricky’s, would be donating an additional $3,000 to match the grant from the ATI Foundation.
Khloe, age 2
Two-year-old Khloe Lane suffers from tremors, muscle weakness and an undiagnosed condition, and needs further testing to assess her medical condition and form a treatment plan. The ATI Foundation provided funding to cover travel expenses for their upcoming trip to Boston Children’s Hospital for this crucial evaluation.
“It’s been a hard road for us not knowing what’s causing any of this, but every day we have her and get one more day and one more smile out of her,” said Khloe’s mom, Rachel Koch. “I would like to thank the ATI Foundation, all of you and your sponsors for helping my daughter get to Boston. If it wasn’t for you guys, we wouldn’t be going.”
I would like to thank the ATI Foundation, all of you and your sponsors for helping my daughter get to Boston. If it wasn’t for you guys, we wouldn’t be going.
Manny, age 5
In partnership with the ATI Foundation for this event, Manny’s Mission will be using some of the funds raised to continue to help beneficiary Manny Bueno, Jr. – a.k.a. “Supermanny” – reach his optimum quality of life. The next obstacles for Manny include an upcoming surgery that will get him closer to the removal of his trach, and costs related to the extensive nursing care to follow. Eventually, they also plan to take Manny to Panama for stem cell therapy to help heal the effects of the severe brain damage sustained at birth.
“Anyone who knows my son and our family knows that giving up is not an option,” said Holly Schroeder, Race Director and mother of Supermanny. “This incredible partnership with the ATI Foundation is what helps make all of our goals for Supermanny achievable.”
This incredible partnership with the ATI Foundation is what helps make all of our goals for Supermanny achievable.
The mission of the ATI Foundation is to provide resources and funding to children with physical impairments to enhance and sustain a better quality of life. Since 2003, the ATI Foundation has raised over $4,000,000 to assist children with physical impairments in our communities. Often our beneficiary families have mounting debt, and are overcome by financial and physical obstacles. Through the work of ATI Physical Therapy clinical and corporate team members, we raise funds to purchase medical equipment, pay bills, and even remodel families’ homes to accommodate their child’s special needs. But more importantly, we give families hope by offering a better quality of life for their child. Learn more, donate, or nominate a beneficiary at ATIFoundation.com.
Manny’s Mission started from the day Manny Jr. was born, when his family learned he had sustained severe brain damage. When his mother, Holly, was told he would never walk, talk or thrive, she was on a mission to prove everyone wrong. The goal that drives Manny’s Mission is to break the barriers of disabilities and to encourage acceptance of all children. Holly spends time doing author visits at schools everywhere, sharing the book she wrote, called “Manny’s Mission: Adventures of a Cerebral Palsy Superhero” to offer a safe place for kids to ask questions and prove once and for all that the only disability is a bad attitude. Visit mannysmission.org to learn more, order books or request an author visit.