Sunday, May 18, 2014

Noah's Hope

It's the children the world almost breaks
Who grow up to save it.
- Frank Warren

It has been my great privilege and pleasure - over the course of the past seven or eight years or so - to work with a talented young attorney named Christian Merlino.  Notwithstanding my United States Marshal mug out of which I consume my daily intake of a dozen cups of coffee or so his "Lawyer By Day/Rock Star By Night" mug might be my favorite one in the office.  Given the fact that he plays in a band with friends with whom he has played since all of them were in college together at Rutgers almost two decades ago, the fact that he is no better than the rest of us mere mortals at the "Lyric of the Day" contest we have in our department is a source of no small amusement for the rest of us.  Then again, his secretary Mary usually puts up a lyric that Springsteen or Hendrix would be hard-pressed to recognize. 

Through my relationship with him, I have been introduced to the rest of his family, including his son Noah.  Noah is an utterly great little dude who through no fault of anyone has been dealt a pretty tough hand.  Noah has Cystic Fibrosis.  There are those who have far better developed faith than I who possess the skill set to reconcile a beautiful child being afflicted with such a horrible disease and the existence of God.  I cannot. 

What I can reconcile with little difficulty is the juxtaposition between the love that parents have for their little boy and the incredible, tireless dedication they have to fighting for a cure for what ails him.   Today, at 10:00 am, "Noah's Hope" will participate in the 2014 Making Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis at Spruce Run in Clinton, New Jersey.

And this year - as she does every year - Noah's mom and Christian's wife Kristen will be front and center leading the team.  If the Department of Energy could devise a manner in which to capture her energy for public consumption, then the whole debate over the need for fracking and off-shore drilling would be over by lunchtime today. 

It is our great honor, Margaret and me, to be counted among the supporters of "Noah's Hope" again this year.  What Kristen and Christian and all of the other families fighting back against CF on behalf of Noah and all of the other children afflicted with it do not just today but everyday is nothing short of extraordinary.  Unless you are the one shoulder-deep in the struggle.  For you, it is not extraordinary.  It is simply what you do. 

For hope is one thing that you shall never surrender.  Not today.  Not any day.


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