When Stephen and Lurdes Mauriello’s son, Danny, was diagnosed with a rare heart disease called Long QT syndrome, the couple was told he would probably not live to see his first birthday. Danny lived until age six, and when he died, the Mauriellos were devastated. “I took up cycling as a way to work through my grief,” Stephen says, “and it just seemed fitting, on the two-year anniversary in the month of Danny’s passing, that I can do something to honor his life and for the children and adults who attend Matheny.”
Having a special child like Danny, he says, “has made me see the world with a more compassionate set of eyes. When I saw the flyer for Miles for Matheny, it seemed like this was an opportunity to use my abilities as a cyclist to help those who are not as fortunate as me. It’s really a privilege and an honor, not just to ride, but to raise money for this wonderful school and hospital!”
Stephen has created a fundraising page on the Miles for Matheny website. His original fundraising goal was $1,000, but he has already surpassed that, reaching $1,750 as of April 29. His message: “When I see the children in their wheelchairs, it breaks my heart. I think of my own son, Danny, who was often hospitalized but kept smiling as a lot of these Matheny kids do. Please join me in raising money. Kindly give whatever you can—I’ll put the 50 miles in.” The Mauriellos live in Morris Township with their two other sons, six-year-old Robby and 10-month-old Tommy.
The 18th annual Miles for Matheny will feature five Cycling rides, a Kids Fun Run, a new Fitness Walk and the signature event, the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk, in which more than 100 wheelchair participants, with walking partners, will travel one mile around downtown Peapack. All funds raised at Miles will benefit programs and services that enhance the lives of the patients and students at Matheny.
Premier sponsor is The Poses Family Foundation. Other major sponsors are: The Golub Family, Mariner Wealth Advisors—Madison, Partlow Insurance Agency, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, Porzio Bromberg & Newman P.C. Attorneys at Law and WCBS Newsradio 880.
For more information or to register, log onto www.milesformatheny.org. To support Stephen Mauriello, go to Search for Participant and type in his name.