Presentation of Charlie’s Bike Warms a Cold Day.
A cold, windy Sunday afternoon did not deter about 100 friends and community leaders from celebrating the granting of a special wish to Charlie Coe of Brambleton.
Charlie, 11, was diagnosed with Doose Syndrome epilepsy when he was three, and experiences seizures that make exercise a particular challenge, said his grandmother.
His wish, and that of his parents, Bryan and Cady, was for a special bicycle that he could ride and be safe on.
Recently, his parents reached out to the Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic foundation to ask that Charlie be granted his wish.
The wish came to the attention of Make-A-Wish board member Vito John Germinario, who immediately stepped up to help as he has many times before.
Germinario commissioned the custom-made, red, three-wheeled bicycle, and hosted a party to celebrate its presentation to Charlie Nov. 20 at Fratelli’s Restaurant in Sterling.
“There is nothing more noble that we can do than to help a child,” Germinario said.
Germinario and the Coe family were meeting for the first time, and “Uncle Vito” revealed the bicycle to Charlie in the parking lot.
The family was moved by the presentation, and Charlie’s mother gave Germinario a hug. “We’re so grateful for this opportunity Make-A-Wish has given Charlie,” said Cady Coe. The family in attendance included Charlie’s parents, older brother and sister, and grandparents.
Friends and neighbors were joined by Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Loudoun County Treasurer Roger Zurn (R) and Supervisor Koran Saines (D-Sterling), and Leesburg Supervisor-elect Ken Reid, along with local business leaders for pizza, subs, soft drinks and cupcakes in Charlie’s honor. And lots of balloons.
Germinario and his partner, Khalil Rouhana, own GPR, Inc., an exterior glass wall construction company that has its signature on many federal, commercial and institutional buildings in the metropolitan area, as well as their own building where Charlie’s reveal was held.
“In this season of Thanksgiving, I am blessed to be able to help a child like Charlie, and I hope that all of you will be inspired to help children,” Germinario said in closing remarks.