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November 8, 2012

A Safe Home for Sydni

By Rick Winterson

  Show up at the L Street Tavern (658 East Eighth, Corner of L Street) on Wednesday evening, December 14, from 7 until 9 p.m.  The reason why:  To help make a safe and accessible home for Sydni, who lives on Marine Road.  Refreshments, raffles, cash bar.

  South Boston Online will repeat itself:  Please reserve a couple of hours next Wednesday evening, November 14, at the L Street Tavern (658 East Eighth Street, corner of L Street) from 7 until 9 p.m.  The occasion is one of those legendary Southie neighborhood times.  This time is being called “Safe Home for Sydni”; it supports a special needs home makeover for her.

  But first, please take a look at the photo with this article.  Yes, it’s a bit blurry, but it shows Sydni, a beautiful and immensely cheerful young lady, standing with her brother Tristin and her sister Tari.  Sydni is eight years old; she has survived a rare and malignant brain tumor that was discovered just two months after she was born.  It left her with many disabilities.

  Note that Sydni is walking with the help of a device called a “Gait Trainer”.  The Gait Trainer has allowed her to make significant progress in getting around independently.  It has firmed up her leg and back muscles.  Even more important, it has straightened her spine, so that she can grow normally.  As you know, eight-year-old young ladies undergo enormous growth spurts.  This is all very good news for Sydni; her doctors continue to be amazed at her progress.

  But there is another challenge facing Sydni and her mother Cathy Jerome.  Their three-decker home on Marine Road has long halls and several narrow spaces and passageways.  Simply stated, their home was built long before designs for “handicapped accessible” were known about.  For Sydni to be able to use her Gait Trainer indoors, widening access points and opening up the living area around their kitchen is essential.  In addition, Sydni needs a ramp from their sidewalk on Marine Road to an entrance at the back of their first-floor apartment.

  Please plan to drop in at the L Street Tavern next Wednesday evening between 7 and 9 p.m..  It’ll be a time to benefit the “Safe Home for Sydni” project.   And that’s how the funds raised will be used – to allow young Sydni to enjoy an independent life.  Suggested donations are in the $25 to $100 range.  See you there.

  The members of the committee are an Honor Roll of South Boston’s best:  Led by Project Coordinator Kristen Flynn, they include Thomas Butler, Jr., Andrew Collins, Rep. Nick Collins, Ed Flynn, Ray and Kathy Flynn, Sen. Jack Hart, City Councilor Bill Linehan, Congressman Steve Lynch, Sean Regan, Jack and Susan Woods, and Kenny and Colleen Woods.  Help them to help Sydni.

  Log onto www.sharingcounts.com/causes/7.  You can contact Project Coordinator Kristen Flynn at 617-852-2350 or e-mail her at kristenflynn2001@yahoo.com if you need more information.  Donations are tax-deductible and can be made by mail to “Safe Home for Sydni” at Mt Washington Bank, 708 East Broadway, South Boston, MA  02127 – ATTN: Kasha Grabowski.  Donations can also be made electronically at http://HomeFreeHome.org/our-projects/a-safe-home-for-Sydni/ (follow prompts for Sydni, and designate your donation to HOME FOR SYDNI).

  A couple of tips for our readers – if you are a newcomer to South Boston, L Street Tavern is where Academy-Award-winning “Good Will Hunting” was filmed.  Look for the table with the bronze plate.  It has become a local landmark.  Later this month, there is also a family-friendly skating party for Sydni planned – at the Murphy Rink on Friday, November 30.  Same contact info as for the L Street Tavern time.  See you there as well.

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