“Little Luca and the Witch”
Ashort time ago, in a land not so far away, a child was born by the name Luca Florio, who was a beautiful, loving and joyful boy. However, before this little glowing boy, who brought a smile to everyone’s face, was born, an evil witch (bad luck) cursed the mother because she knew that Luca would grow up and end her evil ways by defeating all of the monsters (diseases/obstacles) that she would try to plague the lands that the mother and father lived on. The curse would trick the mystical healers (doctors) into thinking that little baby Luca would not make it into the world, but the mother did not believe this and knew Luca was strong.
To the mystical healers’ surprise, Luca was born. However, the curse brought him into the world early, with only one kidney and an underdeveloped brain which caused developmental delays. To make matters worse, the witch sent out her first of very many monsters, the yellow skinned harpy (jaundice) that little Luca would have to fight in order to keep everyone safe. The fight waged for days but Luca’s resolve was stronger than the yellow-skinned harpy, ultimately allowing him to go home with his mother and father.
The defeat of the harpy drove the witch crazy. She thought the curse would put Luca at such a disadvantage that he would most certainly lose. But, Luca showed the witch that he was stronger than she thought, and he would not let her harm him or his family in any way.
Over the course of three years, little Luca fought the witch’s monsters one, sometimes two, at a time. Even though they were difficult for him and his family, he defeated them. He fought the giant electric eel (infantile spasms) whose touch could shock little Luca and make his arms and legs as stiff as a board; the banshee queen (difficulty speaking) who was capable of stealing someone’s voice just by the looking at her; the wizard of weakness (difficulty walking) whose spells could turn the strongest person into the weakest of them all; the poisonous serpent (impaired vision- can only see peripherally) who’s poison could make anyone go blind; and the tricky troll (difficulty feeding himself) who tricks were so good that he could make someone believe they were somebody else.
Little Luca defeated all of the witch’s monsters but couldn’t have done so without the help of his family, three magical fairies (physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy), mystical healers (doctors) and his red furry sidekick (Elmo).
The witch saw little Luca beat each monster one by one. This made her so angry that she decided to create a new monster, the mist golem (Leigh syndrome- a mitochondrial disease). The mist golem had the ability to affect someone’s breathing and their heart. This monster was so rare and powerful that even the mystical healers and the magical fairies did not know how to help Luca take it down. They tried everything. Luca now fights his hardest battle.
On 7/30/16 Luca Florio lost his fight with mitochondrial disease, he was only 3 years old.
We believe that if we fight together as hard as little Luca fought to survive we can make this unbelievable dream come true. What better way to commemorate Luca’s memory and how hard he fought; than to show the families that have to combat this horrific disease, that we continue to fight, but fight with them, until a cure is found…