Monday, April 18, 2016

Sal's True Pals

 Last year we asked a few of Sal's Buddies to speak at the event during the Bid for a Cure. You can imagine how nervous I was to have five young boys ranging from 12 to 15 years speak in front of our crowd of more than 400 guests. When the boys each stood up on stage one by one my nervousness quickly turned into to pure joy. Each young man took the stage with such poise, strength and determination for their friend. These young men captured the true spirit of friendship and taught all of us in the room that at any age you can make a difference. Below you will find two of the speeches from that night written by the Szenderski brothers.

 Will Szenderski- age 14

 A couple years ago, when I was in the 6th grade our teacher was always giving us writing assignment in class that she liked to call Adventures in Writing. One particular assignment was to write a descriptive essay about someone important to us. It was to be titled “The Person I Admire Most” and this was my essay…

 My best friend Sal is a tall kid and is about 5”3, which is a lot taller than me and gives him an advantage in sports. He has blondish brown hair, kind of like mine. He also has big feet and wears a size 10 in basketball shoe. Sal is a good kid but he can be a little mean and bossy sometimes. That personality can actually come in handy because he is a great leader. He is always the one to lead us when we’re on the basketball court or football field. He is also one of the best players on our basketball and football teams. I love playing sports with him, especially because I usually win☺ Sal also has a disease called Cystic Fibrosis that makes it hard for him to breathe. He doesn’t let that affect him though and that’s what I like about him. Sal showed his personality during the football season when he could get everyone hyped up before the football games. He showed his confidence when he went to 6th grade camp and they had a dance. Everyone thought it was weird to dance with people but he just looked for the cutest girl and danced with her. That is why I love my friend Sal. He is not afraid to dance with someone and he’s not going to stop playing sports just because he has a disease. He keeps going on with life and that is what I like about him.

 Tom Szenderski-age 15

 I’ve done tons with Sal over the years. We go sledding in the winter, we swim in the summer, I beat him in FIFA soccer and then he beats me on the basketball court. We have spent birthdays together, pulled a few all-nighters, and gone to many football and basketball games; the list goes on and on. We do all these things despite his Cystic Fibrosis. So far Sal’s CF has never gotten in the way of the things we want to do, his CF has become a normal part of our routine when we hang out. There are times when I have to remind him to take his pills and he usually has to do his breathing treatments and his vest before we go somewhere, but we know this is necessary and is what is keeping him healthy. I am aware that at any point Sal’s CF could get worse and I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want the Cystic Fibrosis to get in the way of Sal’s future or the things we do together. We have had lots of great times and I want to have a lot more. I look forward to the next few years in high school together here at St. Francis, our graduations, our college years and maybe someday standing up in each other’s weddings. To make these things possible we need money for research to find better treatments and medications, or better yet, a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, which is why events like tonight are so important. I love Sal like a brother and I am committed to finding a cure.