North Ender Gary Forziati and his sister, Barbara Forziati Vanderwilden ran in this year’s Boston Marathon to benefit the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress team. They raised $20,000 dollars for the down syndrome charity. Gary’s marathon time was 3 hours 43 minutes and Barbara ran in 4hrs 56 min.
Gary was born, raised and still lives in the North End. Barbara was a resident here until age 33 and is currently in Hamilton where she has a son, Max, with Down syndrome. The following is from an article that appeared in Hamilton Wicked Local:
It is a positive outlook that the Vanderwilden family wants to share with others. “When your child is born with Down syndrome and you are given the news, usually in a very poor way, they take so much out of the equation,” Barbara Vanderwilden said. “They focus on all the things the child isn’t going to be able to do – instead of focusing on all the things they can do. This mindset has to change. We treat him as normal as we can and focus on what he can accomplish – this has made him successful.” Vanderwilden is determined to change things one mile at a time.