Today we have a guest blogger post from Toby Srebnik, Manager of PR, Social Media & Community Events for Truly Nolen, relating an inspirational story that might provide that much-needed smile you’ve been working on all day.
A student at Heron Heights Elementary School in Parkland, FL named Brock Caruso was diagnosed with Stage IV Wilms Cancer back in February, which necessitated the removal of his left kidney and for which he receives radiation and chemotherapy for the cancer that spread to his lungs. He is now being home-schooled and is a true fighter in every sense of the word.
In late-May, our mouse limo was at the school for Career Day, which was coordinated by my wife Sara. My wife began talking to another teacher named Meredith ORourke, who remained in close contact with the Caruso family having been Brock‘s 1st grade teacher for half of the school year. Meredith relayed to the family we would love to have them use the Mouse Limo for a full day during the summer if Brock was up to it.
When we originally tried to schedule it for mid-July, Brock was not yet well enough for sustained travel. However, after speaking with his wonderful mother Kristine Caruso in late-July, she told us Brock‘s numbers were much better and she would love for him to be able to take us up on our offer.
After contacting Lion Country Safari, Palm Beach County’s top tourist attraction and a longtime partner of us when it comes to unique opportunities, their team was delighted to donate free admission for Brock, Kristine, his father Scott, his sister Peyton, and three friends along with complimentary giraffe feeding tickets, which is one of their signature experiences.
We picked up Brock, his family and friends at their house, provided them with some fun Truly Nolen swag bags, and then traveled the 50 miles to Lion County Safari where their team also outfitted Brock with some wild safari gear! The mouse limo rolled through the drive-thru safari and spotted animals including lions, gazelles, rhinos, zebras, and monkeys. It’s always fun to see how the animals react to the mouse limo‘s unique look! Brock and his family and friends then went into the Safari World side of the park and fed the giraffes, which was a big hit with everyone.
From there, we departed, went to lunch at a restaurant in Boca Raton called Nick’s New Haven Style Pizzeria, and then took them back to their house at day’s end where we showed his parents all of the tweets we had sent during the ride from @TrulyNolen using #BrockStrongBlog as a hashtag so they would be able to archive them if they wanted.
One of the great things about my job is I get to try and help deliver smiles in the Mouse Limo every so often. August 3 was definitely one of those special days. For people who want to learn more about Brock, they can visit Facebook.com/BrockStrongBlog or his GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/brockstrong.
Keep fighting, Brock!