"Any dream is possible with FirefighterAid on your side! They have made the possibility of Mason walking a reality and a dream that will come true. Can never thank them enough! "
- Crystal Garibaldi, Mason's Mom
MASON MOORE'S STORY:
Mason Moore has been a bright shining light at FirefighterAid since he was 4-years-old. Mason was born at just 23 weeks old. Because of his severe prematurity, Mason developed complications that caused him to have hydrocephalus and Cerebral Palsy with spastic dysplasia. This causes excessive stiffness in his legs, making it impossible to walk without the use of canes.
Mason's family has tried every possible therapy available, including swim lessons, Botox injections, horseback therapy, and chiropractic. Mason had surgery on December 2, 2014. Doctors will tried to alleviate some of the tightness in the hope that Mason will be able to walk without canes.
Mason uses a special type of therapy called conductive education, where he undergoes 4 weeks of intensive treatment and training. This unique therapy will help Mason learn to use his motor skills better than he can now.
In 2012, Mason went to ability camp for the first time and came back with significant improvement, but he still needs canes to walk. It is our hope that someday Mason will be able to walk cane free, so we help to make sure that Mason can go to ability camp every year to work towards that goal - check out his updates below!
Last year, Mason was sick, so he didn't attend camp. Thankfully, this year Mason was back to 100% superhero strength, so he could go to summer ability camp! Mason took the flight to Florida, worked as hard as he could, and he left that camp able to continue walking cane free AND carrying his own backpack on his back! This was a HUGE deal because any added weight to the torso or back causes your center of gravity to shift. With the help of the incredible camp staff, Mason was able to learn how to better adjust his center of gravity and accommodate for when he is wearing something on his back versus when he isn't.
Mason, as always, you're our little superhero and are making waves of progress every day. We are working hard to fundraise and share your story to make sure you can go wherever you need to on this journey. We are here for you, and we can't wait to see what next year brings for you!
Florida bound yet again! Our Masonator is one heck of a superhero! We sound like a broken record, but Mason really kicked it into overdrive and used his super powers to work even harder this summer. He walked out of that ability camp at the end of summer with NO cane!
While Mason does keep his cane around for longer walking periods, with new treatment and therapies available at camp, Mason was able to get even better help and training. This allowed him to walk cane free at the end of the summer and be less reliant on his cane in every day life. Thank you to the Florida abilities camp for taking care of and treating our Mason like the superhero he is. We can't wait to see the improvements he makes going forward!
A special moment to highlight his hard work this year was when Mason and his mom walked hand and hand in front of the San Diego 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb main stage, through the start chute, to ring the bell in honor of a fallen first responder of 9/11. They are champion fundraisers for our memorial event every year, and they try to give back to FirefighterAid as a thank you for the years of support and ability camps.
Mason liked his Florida ability camp so much, he went back this year! Our superhero had yet another busy year before he even went off to camp though.
Mason loves trucks and racing - monster trucks, dune buggies, motor cross, you name it! Inspired by our favorite superhero, a local Firefighter racer, Matt Scarpuzzi, created a team of buggy racers and crew to compete in the Baja 500 and raise money to help send Mason to camp. In his decked out Racing for Mason and FirefighterAid customized buggy, Matt raced his heart out and helped to fundraise over $30,000 between the race and a craft beer tasting event at the San Diego Fire House Museum for Mason's ability camps! Thank you Matt and the Racing for Mason team for being such champions and loving Mason like we do.
With the racing adrenaline fueling him, Mason headed to camp in Florida and came back with a strong core, focused motor skills, and a lot less reliance on his cane! Mason has worked year over year to improve and be able to walk cane-free for short periods of time. This year it was more apparent than ever that these summer ability camps are really helping Mason to live his life cane-free, and we are thankful to have so many incredible community partners to help make sure he can keep going back year after year.
This year, Mason went to a new camp, one a little closer to home. Mason attended ability camp in Central Florida this year. He worked harder than ever, and he came back with even more core strength and more refined motor skills!
Mason no longer needs two canes, but he has the second one just in case. We are so incredibly proud of our superhero Masonator! He has even caught the attention of some of our San Diego friends - San Diego Padres and our friends at P360 Gym! The Padres let Mason throw the first pitch and donated to FirefighterAid for Mason's ability camps. P360 Gym held Super Hero Work Outs to fundraise for the ability camps as well. Thank you to everyone for rallying together to fundraise and support Mason as he works harder and harder every day to walk cane-free!
Another year, another summer ability camp! The lead up to this camp was so much fun! We had a few fundraisers that helped FirefighterAid ensure that Mason would get to camp and his parents wouldn't have to stress about how to pay for them.
Thank you to Thorn Street Brewery for helping to throw an amazing tasting event to benefit Mason's ability camp fund and FirefighterAid. Ability camp, especially an out of state one with such specialized therapy and treatment, can cost quite a lot, so FirefighterAid is grateful that fellow San Diegans support one another and our super Masonator to help afford these camps.
While at camp, Mason worked really hard to further improve his fine motor skills and walking ability. He still needs his canes, but he is becoming less and less reliant on them. Great job Mason for all of your hard work. Keep it up - you inspire us every day!
Mason's first ability camp was in Canada. The decision to travel so far was a combination of services provided, care provided, and comfortability with the wonderful camp staff. Mason worked so hard to improve his core strength and fine motor skills with the incredible staff, that he was much more comfortable walking with his canes.
Great job Mason for working so hard, loving everyone to the fullest, and making our days so much brighter. We can't wait to see all of your hard work and improvement after next summer's camp!
MASON'S PROGRESS PHOTO GALLERY:
2/13/2013 - Thorn Street Brewery Event
5/27/2013 - Mason's Off to Ability Camp
5/28/2013 - Mason Arrives at Ability Camp
11/15/2014 - P360 Super Hero Fitness Event
11/10/2015 - P360 Super Hero Fitness Event
7/8/2016 - Mason Heads to Ability Camp
10/27/2016 - Racing for Mason Craft Beer Tasting Event
11/12/2016 - P360 Super Hero Fitness Event
6/6/2016 - Racing for Mason Baja 500
Special THANK YOU to our friends at Quickstop for their sponsorship and support!
RACING FOR MASON FUNDRAISER:
In 2017, a group of San Diego City Firefighters came together to create a Baja 500 racing team to raise money and awareness for Mason. The team, Racing For Mason, was made up of San Diego City Firefighters who are raced in the 2017 Baja 500 to help support this amazing super-kid. The Firefighters on team Racing For Mason will be shared the responsibility of driving over 500 grueling miles through Mexico all in the name of our pint sized hero, Mason! Funds raised from this event will benefitted FirefighterAid, whom had already raised over $30,000 to send Mason to camp over the last three years.
Matt and his team raised over $10,000 and Mason was successfully sent to camp. Here's how it went as told by Matt Scarpuzzi, SDFD and team captain, Racing For Mason.
After a year of planning and fundraising I could not be happier with the results of Team Racing for Mason. I am so thankful for everyone who has donated and supported the team and fundraiser. It is crystal clear how everyone feels about Mason and the love and support for this incredible young man is everywhere. I am proud to have 515 miles behind us and a 4th place finish but even more proud to see that we have raised almost $12,000 for Mason to receive therapy. From the beer tasting night at the museum to race day, hanging out with Mason has left an impression on me that will last a lifetime.
Mason was on my mind many times throughout the 515 miles of the SCORE International Baja500. At race mile 30 we rolled the race car on its side. My co-driver and I quickly jumped out and looked around for help to get the car back on its wheels. With no one around, we used every bit of strength and lifted the car up back on to its wheels continuing on the course. I was never tired, hungry, or distracted as my co-drivers navigated us past wreck after wreck and miles of broken vehicles. Our pit crews were absolutely dialed and our "plan" came together perfectly. We had a lot on the line knowing that we were representing the perseverance that Mason has demonstrated to us. We completely lost our communications in the car and managed to get stuck behind a wreckage that blocked about 12 cars from continuing on the course. We kept the car in four wheel drive and plowed down bushes and cactus running up the side of a mountain and back on to the course. We never gave up for almost 20 hours. Pulling into the finish line and seeing our pit crews waiting for us was an incredible feeling. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to each and every one of our sponsors and supporters!!!