Philadelphia student with visual impairment shines on track with running partners

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Saturday, June 3, 2023
Student with visual impairment shines on track with running partners
St. Lucy School for Children with Visual Impairments is partnering its students with peers at the next-door St. Jerome School.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "Just because we lost one of our five senses doesn't mean that, like, we're different than anyone else," said Sean Marriott.

At age 7, Marriott experienced blurred vision while attending summer camp with his brothers. A stay at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia revealed he had a brain tumor, which led to a loss of vision.

Now, after receiving treatment, the 5th-grade student at St. Lucy School for Children with Visual Impairments is getting a chance to shine.

That's thanks to a recent move by St. Lucy School to its new home on the campus of St. Jerome Parish, placing it directly next door to St. Jerome School. In addition to better handicap accessibility, St. Lucy is now able to integrate some of its students into the classroom and extracurricular activities at St. Jerome.

"I just feel, like, so thankful because there's, like, so many kids in St. Jerome that are so eager and happy to help," said Marriott. "Whether it's, like, track or getting somewhere at recess, they, like, are so happy to help any of us at St. Lucy's."

Students like Chris Kelly and Luke Fanelli have volunteered to partner up with Marriott particularly on the race track.

"We go to track practice and we use a ring so that we can keep Sean in his lane and running great," said Fanelli. "I thought it was amazing because he's such a nice kid and I loved to help him do something that he was really passionate about."

That kind of partnership is something that both schools' faculties want to foster and grow over the years to come.

"There were so many benefits of moving here, but I can see in hindsight now that God really wanted us here," said Sister Lisa Lettiere, principal of St. Lucy School. "I know there are more children out there who probably could benefit from our services and I just, I hope that we can be available to anyone who needs us."

To learn more about St. Lucy School for Children with Visual Impairments and St. Jerome School, visit their websites.

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