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Happy Mother's Day to all of our WWA Mom's out there: to our Supporting Mom's and to the Mothers of our incredible WWA Warriors. Being a Mom is a full time job, but when tragedy affects your family, the word MOM takes on a whole new meaning. This month we are showcasing our newest WWA Warrior Marccelo Alvarez, and his mother Guissela in the sprit of Mother's Day.
THANK YOU to all of our supporters for being a dedicated and valued member of our community, and advocate for the millions of individuals living with paralysis. You don't know how touched we are that you're on this journey with us. Your donations allow us to consistently provide support and resources to those whose lives have been forever changed due to spinal cord injury. Because of you we have been able to change many lives and will continue to do so.

Thank you,
Micki & Anthony Purcell

Spotlight on
Marccelo Alvarez


Age: 14
Hometown: Springfield, VA
Occupation: 8th Grader
Hobbies: Video Games

Marccelo's Story

Marccelo Castillo is a 14 year old who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, spinal stenosis and low muscle tone as an infant. After his first spinal surgery at only 18 months old, doctors told his Mother he would never walk or speak. Marccelo's mother Guissela refused to accept that, and because so, he knew his colors, numbers, and a second language by the time he entered kindergarten.

Three years ago (age 11), Marccelo was diagnosed with Chondrodysplasia Punctate. The tests for Marccelo started all over again, and during an MRI, doctors discovered his cervical canal was extremely thin and he needed an emergency surgery. Though his doctors held out little hope for a positive outcome, Marccelo’s recovery was unprecedented. Defying the odds, he was able to go up and down stairs with help. A big victory for anyone in his situation.

At the end of last year (2018), Marccelo began developing weakness in his upper and lower arms, becoming lethargic and spastic. In order to alleviate these extreme symptoms, Marccelo needs another surgery. This time, a spinal fusion and a decompression of his C1 and C2 vertebrae. For the past 6 months, Marccelo has been in rehabilitation treatment working at becoming strong enough for the surgery that will hopefully bring him closer to living a more active and full life.

Marccelo's Mother, Guissela

Marccelo was born on November 22, 2004, the week of Thanksgiving. I was thankful to God for giving me such a beautiful blessing. I was beyond happy and felt I was the luckiest mother alive.

On the day of his routine 9-month checkup, the doctor gave me the first of many bad news to come...

As a mother of 2 boys with very different disabilities, there is nothing more terrible than seeing your child in pain over and over again. Well for me it was my 14-year-old son. As our happy little hero began to get weaker and weaker, he also lost his spirited smile.

I can still hear him asking me,
"Mommy what's going on? Why can’t I move my hands?"

I wish I could have given him a positive answer so he could have felt better. I gained strength and decided to give my son the best life I could. I was on a mission to prove the doctors wrong. So as Marccelo grew up, I never treated him differently, nor did I make things easy for him. I wanted him to give it his all so he could become independent and succeed in life.

Marccelo has always been a kid who enjoys every second of the day. He is outgoing, and believes in his dream of becoming a famous video game player or Police Officer! He is always making sure everyone is happy, consistently finds the best in the worst, and isso loving and supportive to his older brother who has autism... and to me... encouraging ME when I would sometimes be brought to tears. My angel.

Life can change at any second.

For as little as $5 a month, you can pledge to support, and make a difference in individuals & families like Marccelo and Guissela.

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After almost 10 years of working to change the world of spinal cord injury where every individual gets the help and support they deserve, we are genuinely touched by our supporters who believe deeply enough in our vision to give on a regular basis. Recurring contributions mean that our work continues and more individuals and families can attain the care they deserve.

We ask you to consider becoming one of those exceptional supporters by signing up for our monthly program. One of the biggest things we rely on as a non-profit is consistency so that we can continue to help people. By becoming a monthly donor you are helping us, our WWA Warriors and their families, build strength and stability. Learn more.

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