This year's featured family for the 15th Annual Caruso Family Charities Golf Tournament was the Aliveara Ellis family. Aliveara is a single mother to three kids, Joe (15), Jessiah (11), and Ak'ya (9). This family's story is like nothing you have ever heard before and will give you a glimpse into the lives of the families we serve and the struggles they face every single day.
One day, Aliveara noticed that her son Joe wasn't able to use his body the same way he had in the past. Aliveara took him to the doctor, and they discovered he had Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare genetic disease. Duchenne causes the muscles in the body to become weak and damaged over time and is eventually fatal. Duchenne is caused by a genetic mutation that prevents the body from producing dystrophin, which muscles need to work properly. Without dystrophin, muscle cells become damaged and weaken. Over time, children with Duchenne will develop problems walking and breathing, and eventually, the muscles that help them breathe and the heart will stop working. Unbeknownst to Aliveara, she is a carrier for the gene and passed this gene down to her children. It will eventually affect all of their lives in some way or another.
Aliveara is a single mother and is unable to work because of the 24-hour care the kids need. She has dedicated her life to caring for her children and is an incredible mother. The Ellis family lived in a three-story apartment building where Aliveara had to carry her two boys up and down the stairs every day. Aliveara doesn't have a car, so she leaves the kids at home, takes the bus to the grocery store or to run errands, and comes home to continue caring for her kids. The family is homebound and doesn't get to do a lot or go anywhere because it is simply too tricky. With the help of Caruso Family Charities, we were able to get them into a living situation without stairs to alleviate some of the physical pressure from Aliveara. While their living condition still isn't perfect, it is better than what it was. Caruso Family Charities is dedicated to giving this family a better quality of life and is working our hardest to find them the perfect place to live. After their current year lease is up, with the help of the money raised through our golf tournament, we will be finding them a more comfortable and suitable home for their lifestyle and hope to make an impact they will never forget. This family struggles day in and day out, yet you never hear them complain about a thing. We must count our blessings each day and remember that no matter how bad things can get, there is always someone who has it worse. We have found that this is something Caruso Family Charities donors seem to understand, and we believe it allows this small non-profit to flourish and impact those in need in ways we could have never imagined. Thank you for your continued support and generosity. YOU are making an impact!