Friday, October 25, 2013

Keeping connected through the gift of technology


OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK: From left, Sabina Fusco, Kyle Orben, Allen Lapey, MD, director of the MGH Cystic Fibrosis Center, and Ralph Fusco

With a shy smile, MassGeneral Hospital for Children cystic fibrosis patient Kyle Orben reached out and accepted his new iPad. Although the 8-year-old had told his mom that he would share the gift with his nine brothers and sisters, he first quietly soaked in the new toy, awestruck by the on and off button.

The iPad was a gift from Ralph and Sabina Fusco of The Richard Fusco Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping cystic fibrosis patients stay connected with their family and friends, keep up with their schoolwork and maintain an optimistic outlook during often long and frequent hospital stays. The Fuscos dedicate their work to the memory of their son Richard, who was born with cystic fibrosis and died a year ago at the age of 44. The last three years of Richard’s life were drastically improved by having an iPad, which helped him keep in touch with his relatives and friends while at the hospital, as well as watch movies and television, read and play games.

“We want other kids to have that same feeling that the future is bright and they have a place in the outside world,” said Ralph Fusco.

Kyle is the first patient to receive an iPad from the foundation, which plans to donate more iPads to local pediatric cystic fibrosis patients who would otherwise be unable to afford one. “We should adopt Ralph and Sabina as grandparents,” the Orben family, who live in Wakefield, exclaimed as they gratefully accepted the iPad.

Read more articles from the 10/25/13 Hotline issue.


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