WHAT HAVE WE'VE BEEN UP TO?
Since Tony's discharge from the hospital on 11/10/16, we have been relaxing in our new life here at the RV at the CB Smith Park & Campground in Pembroke Pines, FL.
Tony is adjusting well. He LOVES the serenity of C.B.Smith Park & Campground as do we. I loved when he said "This reminds me of Disney's Fort Wilderness!" It was that response I had envisioned for him and for the boys 7 yrs prior when we were getting him first evaluated in Pittsburgh. Tony is in his own environment, away from germs, with home-cooked meals, catching up on home school and just enjoying his new found freedom being free from his backpack!
The campground itself is situated perfectly from the hospital and from where Stephen's employment is nestled. We have many friends and family that are scattered throughout Florida and Lord willing soon in the coming weeks will be venturing to see many of you plus take in sights that are non-Disney, though we are Annual Passholders and DVC (Disney Vacation Club) members thanks to my late father and a gift he gave me years ago, we will make short trips there as well-speaking of Disney, our first "mini" trip was last weekend.
To have him walk in where it states "Guests with no bags!" was emotional! We kept Tony safe with being masked with a special mask,and literally wiped down every lap bar or belt that came in contact his. The cast members that we know were so accommodating with the DAS (Disability Access Service) for him and our family!
Plus seeing great cast members friends made the trip possible! Tony had some "firsts" like a a pretty BIG one SWIMMING in a pool, a Disney pool that he wanted to do as a "bucket list" item! His real "bucket list" item is too be in the Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground Pool with eating a slice of pizza!
"Tony w/our beloved Poppa Pete!"
A especially prepared meal at the Diamond Horseshoe in Frontierland of the Magic Kingdom. We had a beautiful room with a theme park view of the castle as well as a premier viewing of the new Disney Movie "Moana" and had a special behind-the-scenes then to finish it off watched a very special fireworks of WISHES" for our family!
Planning is in full swing for next year's 8th Annual Harvest Fest! Details and date to be TBA- Stay Tuned!
Earlier in the year , here's what we were up to!:
We have been extremely busy this month of April, our goal as a family is to get the word out how important and vital Organ & Tissue Donation is. With a 122,000 patients in the US awaiting life saving organs, time is of the essence to get the word out and have registered Organ Donors for these patients including 2,000 children awaiting a new chance at life.
With the Pediatric Population at 2,000 plus in the United States awaiting organs, children as early as infancy can be elected as an organ donor with parental consent. Many parents aren't even aware that they can help with this critical shortage and need by having their children obtain a Photo ID card and then electing them to become an organ donor on the form. 39 states have no age restriction to obtain a photo ID. Pennsylvania where we reside has a age restriction of 10 yrs old.
The photo ID will serve two purposes:
1) Raise the Organ Donor Designations in all 50 states.
2) Will also aid authorities in the event an Amber Alert has to be issued. This will trump a student or college ID as with a State Issued Photo ID , the child's vital information will be apart of the state data base, so that all 50 states authorities will have access to that information.
You can obtain the Photo ID form by visiting your State DMV office or Website.. To become a registered Organ Donor simply go to : www.donors1.org TODAY , "It just takes :30secs"
Another way we are helping with Organ Donation & Tissue Awareness has been meeting with State Representative's and Senators about an important piece of legislature the DONATE LIFE ACT BILL (HR30 and SB 850) in PA. This will allow more awareness with education among middle & high school students as well as hospitals. This bill will not even require tax-payer funding. With the Gov. Robert P.Casey Organ Donation Trust Fund ,registered driver's of PA has faithfully and voluntarily donated $ 1.00 to this fund since it was enacted back in 1998 when they re-register their vehicle for registration and re-new their driver's license. Monies in this fund will allow schools to receive grants along with curriculum structured by the IU 13 to help educate students the importance of Organ and Tissue Donation. (Below is Tony with brother's Vinny 13 and Dominic 11 with Senator Lloyd Smucker of PA). Talk with your local legislature's TODAY and let's get the bill signed and passed for the 6,500 Pennsylvanians awaiting precious organs and my son and our brother Tony! Here we were at the 19th Annual DONOR DASH in Philadelphia Sunday, April 13th, 2014 rocking our shirts with TEAM TONY!!!! To sign up , become a sponsor and cheer on TEAM TONY and the thousands of heroes we were among, we would love to have ya be apart of the day with us! More info will follow: in the meantime you can purchase our TEAM SHIRT "It takes GUTS to be on TEAM TONY" T-shirt fundraiser. Email me at: [email protected] with size and how many... Cost is $20 plus s/h proceeds will benefit Tony's Special Needs Trust (Antonio Forte Transplant Fund Trust).
Here was Tony w/ Dwendy Johnson of Gift of Life and Colleen Sullivan of CORE
presenting and accepting the award from PA FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America on behalf of DONATE LIFE. The students chose DONATE LIFE as their state project raising over $40,000 because of Tony's story and stories like his. Here is Tony with some of those students and big brother Vinny rocking out in the Mascot "Heartman" Costume for the 3 day conference at the Hershey Lodge.
Aprill 11th, 2014 and by proclamation is officially Nat'l Blue and Green Day for DONATE LIFE MONTH...
Here's what us Forte's did to honor the day!
Our home went blue and green at night not just for the day but until Tony receives
Tony was apart of the "Fashion 4 Life Fashion Show" with other families of recipient and donors along with those waiting. (Check out Tony rocking the "Peeps" fashions as he struts down the runway at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA.)
Here with two transplant recipients Al Weibel (14 yrs Heart Transplant) and Paul Hess (13 yrs Liver Transplant) both from Lancaster, PA here manning a table with spreading awareness how important organ & tissue donation is, Because someone said "YES" both Al & Paul are here.
To become an Organ Donor please visit : www.donors1org.com, To Sign the Petition to help the DONATE LIFE ACT BILL please visit : www.savealifenowpa.org and to help Tony's Special Needs Trust and become apart of TEAM TONY...Hit the Donate Button via PAYPAL... To visit and see us at our events come out to 2nd Friday's in Lititz and Saturday, May 17th, 2014 :