October 23, 2014
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Power of compassion

We at the Warwick Beacon think it’s pretty amazing that people are more than willing to support a cause for a person they don’t even know. In fact, it’s even more touching when children are involved.
Last week, one of our reporters visited fourth graders at St. Peter School who were not only blissfully wrapping up the end of the school year but also celebrating and honoring the life of 21-month-old Ryan Roberts.
Unfortunately, Ryan was born with Down’s syndrome, as well as multiple heart defects, and his doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh had given him a few weeks to live.
As a result, his mother, Diane, wrote a list of activities she’d like her son to experience before he passes away, such as petting a puppy, riding a bike and indulging in a banana split.
Diane’s loved ones, Melissa Doerfler Neidhardt and Melinda Sullivan Arlof, created an event invitation on Facebook, “Ryan’s Banana Split Party,” to spread awareness about the mission. As of press time, more than 215,000 people from across the globe have been invited to take part and 18,220 have already participated.
But why? Perhaps, it’s impolite or pointless to wonder, but Sean Fey-Mongeau, 10, a fourth grader at St. Peter, said it best.
“I think it’s special to do because he’ll be going to heaven pretty soon,” said Sean.
In the wake of realizing a child’s life will soon be lost without any real explanation, it’s humbling to know we have the ability to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
While many people may take the ability to be able to ride a bike, pet a puppy or even eat a banana split for granted, it’s a sure thing that students at St. Peter will start their summer vacations knowing they have the power to appreciate the little things in life.
With that said, we’re thinking of you, Ryan.


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