DREAMS DO COME TRUE

First Ever Recipient
2013 Recipient of the Shot for Hope Hunt of Your Dreams: Bradley Marcello

From left to right, Cali Steingraber, Eric Steingraber, and Bradley Marcello

2013 RecipientA little about:
Bradley Marcello

At 33 weeks gestation, Bradley’s parent received a gut wrenching diagnosis of Osteogenesis Imperfecta from the doctor for their unborn child. Research on the disorder did not look promising for the severity that Bradley was diagnosed with but knew that this challenge was not big enough to give up on. On June 27, 1996, Bradley was born via c-section with 9 fractures of his arms, legs and ribs. He looked healthy and normal with exception to his short and bent limbs. The next several years were spent in and out of doctors’ offices and hospitals mending his fragile bones and doing physical therapy to try and strengthen his bones and improve his muscle tone. Attempts were made to help Bradley accomplish mobility with a walker and braces for his legs but the fragility of his bones were too extreme to accomplish independent walking so Bradley uses a power wheel chair to get around. He’s had over 100 fractures in his 16 years but has not let those challenges get in his way.

Bradley has had to undergo numerous surgeries to straighten his legs and arms and titanium rods help support his long bones to help reduce the number of fractures. In 2012 he underwent surgery to stop the progression of his scoliosis. His spine is not strong enough to withstand rods and hardware to correct the curvature of his spine so a rib bone was put in place and sutured to his spine to help support the weight of his body and allow room for his heart and lungs. Bradley spent 4 months flat on his back in bed to recover and allow for new bone to grow around the rib and spine to make a bigger and stronger support system in his back. He has recovered nicely from that surgery but that left him with additional mobility restrictions.

Brad just completed his sophomore year at Somerset High School where he attends regular classes with his peers. He is an honorary member of the Somerset Fire and Rescue Department. He has a passion for firefighting and helping people but his physical limitations will not allow him to be able to be a firefighter so he has his sights set on becoming a 911 Dispatcher when he completes school. Brad has a positive outlook on life that I truly respect and admire. He is thoughtful and caring and his love for adventure and strong will to find a way to do everyday tasks that we take for granted simply amaze me.

Brad has 2 older siblings and a niece and is a die-hard Packer fan. He loves playing with his niece, fishing, hunting, modified bowling and most recently found a new passion participating in 5K races with his parents and friends. He’s taught us that it’s the simple things in life that make it all worth it and to live life to the fullest.

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