Boy with neuromuscular disorder completes OC Marathon

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At just 7 years old, Charlie Vidito loves to laugh and play like most kids his age. His parents use the word "persistent" when asked to describe him. (KABC)

At just 7 years old, Charlie Vidito loves to laugh and play like most kids his age. His parents use the word "persistent" when asked to describe him.

"Whatever might be a challenge for him, he just goes after it with gusto," said James Vidito, Charlie's father. "If it's something that he really wants to achieve, he'll go out and do it."

Charlie has faced challenges since he was born. Soon after bringing him home from the hospital, his parents knew something was wrong.

"We missed milestone after milestone with him, and it was pretty evident there wasn't normalcy with him," said RoseAnn Vidito, his mother.

Doctors diagnosed Charlie with global apraxia, a neuromuscular disorder that affects his ability to plan and carry out motor tasks, everything from walking and tying his shoes, to speaking.

"An eye-opener that we're going to be in this for the long haul, and it's going to be something that we're going to have to commit to," said James.

Charlie began physical, occupational and speech therapy at "Amayzing Kids" in Lake Forest, a non-profit, pediatric clinic.

While making strides, he watched his dad run a half marathon last year. That day, he told his parents he would run a marathon and earn a medal just like his dad.

"We're doing good going down the street without falling, but if you think you can do it, let's go for it," said RoseAnn.

Through a school program, Charlie and his older brother, Will, ran after school once a week. They logged the miles for three months. One week before the Orange County Marathon, he hit 25.2.

"I ran a marathon," Charlie explains to his speech therapist.

On the actual marathon course, Charlie completed his final mile and crossed the finish line.

"Words can't express how proud and humbling it is to see him do what he did on that day," said James.

Charlie's parents said they know there's a long road ahead, but they know now, more than ever, there's hope.

"Whatever sacrifices you have to make to see that through, do it because it's so worth it. Don't give up," said James.

As for Charlie, he got his medal, and a feeling he knows exactly how to describe.

"Happy and so proud," the young marathoner said with a smile.
Related Topics:
societyfamilychildrenchildren's healthmarathonsfeel goodCosta MesaOrange County
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