ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Running a 5K can be challenging as it is, but imagine doing it while living with cerebral palsy. That’s what one 11-year-old is trying to accomplish.
Fred Ginman may not have the legs of an athlete, but he certainly has the heart.
"That’s the message I think Fred has to everyone, 'don’t stop even though we are under coronavirus times,'" said mother Isabella Amaral.
Fred is on day three of a 10-day 5K. The goal is 10 laps a day, or 500 meters, around the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay courtyard.
"The physical therapy we do here it's very modern, very sophisticated, and it's giving Fred hope," said Amaral.
Fred and his mom are from Brazil. They have spent more than 600 nights at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay since 2012, as Fred receives treatment for cerebral palsy. The goal is to one day walk on his own.
"That's our dream, that's our goal, that's what we envision every night, we envision walking freely on the beach," said Amaral.
The family said Ronald McDonald House has been there for them every step of the way and now they want to return the favor. All money raised in support of Fred's Fun Run will go back to helping families like their own.
"Because since the beginning the Ronald McDonald House has embraced our mission to get Fred walking freely," said Amaral.
Ronald McDonald House acknowledges its been a tough year. Their costs have increased while their funding has decreased during the pandemic. They appreciate Fred and Isabella’s desire to give back.
"And that’s just been really special and heartwarming for us," said Joe Citro, of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay. "They’ve embraced and have been a veteran of the house, the families look to them for advice and look to them for inspiration because they’ve been here for so long."
For the next week, people can sign up to sponsor Fred and donate money in his name and mission. Fred even encourages others to run alongside him virtually.
"If I am able to do it everyone can do it," said Fred.
For more information on how to sponsor Fred and watch him run daily online, go to https://rmhctampabay.org/coronavirus/.
This story was first reported by Robert Boyd with WFTS in Tampa Bay, Florida.