Mariano Leo is two and half and is from Scranton, Pennsylvania. He has been coming to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Philadelphia since January 2012, when he was an infant. Mariano has Erbs Palsy. Erbs Palsy is a condition that affects the nerves surrounding the shoulder and can cause partial or total paralysis of the upper and lower arm. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves near the neck that give rise to all the nerves of the arm. These nerves provide movement and feeling to the arm, hand, and fingers. Palsy means weakness, and brachial plexus birth palsy causes arm weakness and loss of motion. One or two of every 1,000 babies have this condition. Shriners Hospitals for Children specializes in providing the best care to children with this condition, led by Chief of Staff, Scott Kozin, M.D. and Dan Zlotolow, M.D. who actively provide care to Mariano.
His mother Deanna says, “Mariano is a bundle of energy and always has a smile on his face. He especially loves to play with his big brother Lorenzo plus cars, Spiderman and Batman!” The Leos recently decided to host a fundraiser for the benefit of Shriners Hospitals for Children and Abilities 21. They wanted to give back to the organizations that have given so much to them. Abilities 21 is a non-profit support group made up of dedicated volunteers who offer support to the families of children with a variety of special needs. The goal behind the event was to help other families just like they have been, and raise money. Thirst-T’s Bar and Grill in Olyphant, PA was the location for the event which included live entertainment, bands and raffles for everyone to enjoy.
Ms. Leo hopes that by sharing Mariano’s story, she will be able to help him and help other parents who find themselves in her shoes. She has set up a website: www.wecanwewillwithlove.org.
Top: On a recent visit Deanna and Mariano presented the check to Development Director Terry Diamond.
Bottom: Brian and Deanna Leo are surrounded by members of Irem Shriners at the fundraising event.