By: Jessica Astrologo ‘21
If you’re from Bethel, chances are you are familiar with the Tamburino family.
Mrs. Tamburino, a paraprofessional who oversees the ISS room, makes students feel comfortable at school as she provides a judgement-free zone.
All of her own children graduated from BHS and her family is a friendly group of faces.
As many know, her husband, Mr. Tamburino suffers from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS. This disease weakens one’s muscles, limiting their strength and ability to physically function.
Dwight Clark was a well-known football wide receiver for the 49ers, who sadly lost his life to ALS, along with Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author.
Before his diagnosis, Mr. Tamburino was very active in the Bethel community.
“He coached all our boys in baseball, in-town basketball, lacrosse, and football. He coached our daughter when she played softball,” explained Mrs. Tamburino. “He is hardworking, independent, sarcastic, outgoing, caring, funny, music-loving (heavy metal), sports nut and always a family man. He worked his bottom off to take care of me and our four children.”
In 2018, BHS hosted a Kindness Assembly, where $3,000 was raised for the Tamburino family to help their unfortunate situation.
In order to help him with his mobility, Mr. Tamburino relies on his family, but also on new assistive technology. Mr. Tamburino has been waiting to receive his power wheelchair since March of 2020, and finally received it a year later.
“He is not enjoying the wheelchair too much right now because he is trying to get used to it. He has to get used to the new one and then he will be happy with it,” Mrs. Tamburino explained.
Although Mr. Tamburino isn’t the fondest of the new wheelchair just yet, his wife is hopeful that it will bring positive change to their lives.
“It is worth the money. It opens up his life to more than just being in our house all day every day,” Mrs. Tamburino explained.
The wheelchair will allow Mr. Tamburino to explore and enjoy life the best he can.
Even though Mr. Tamburino may not be used to the wheelchair just yet, it is clear he is still very grateful.
“Having the wheelchair is everything. Without it I would be immobile, with it I have limited independence,” he said.
Despite the unfair obstacles the Tamburino family is forced to fight, they remain strong and celebrate over the excitement of the new power wheelchair!