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On November 23rd, 2020 I received some of the toughest news of my life. My mother, Kelly, had passed away suddenly. While my mother and I did not have the greatest relationship, it was undeniable how much she loved me along with many special people in her life. Kelly suffered from a myriad of mental, physical, and emotional disabilities that put a strain on her life and relationships. On her good days she was the greatest, most loving person that anyone knew. She had an infectious smile, a high-pitched cackling laugh, and a wonderful sense of humor. Kelly had the ability to put a smile on anyone’s face and would listen to any problem that they had.
For a few years my mom worked as a bus driver for kids with intellectual and physical disabilities. This was where I first experienced people that were “different” from who I was and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I learned at a young age that people with intellectual disabilities are some of the happiest, sweetest, and most caring people out there. I loved every second of being on the bus with her and it was the first step in my journey of working with people with intellectual disabilities. I owe my mom a lot of credit for exposing me to such a beautiful experience that most people may never understand.
Rather than asking for donations to help cover funeral expenses or flowers to be sent, I am asking you to please consider donating to my Special Olympics Florida, Miami-Dade Race for Inclusion 5K team. This team is in memory of my mom and I can’t think of a better way to remember her than to donate to a cause she cared so deeply about.
Phil Farinacci Jr.
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