STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Heartwrenching stories aren’t supposed to hit close to home. Sadly, one has.
But a Staten Island charity has stepped forward to aid the young widow and mother who’s coping with tragedy.
Nicholas Chiarulli’s diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — Lou Gehrig’s disease — was ominous, inasmuch as ALS usually strikes those 50-plus.
The birth of Nicholas Joseph to Chiarulli and his wife, Joanna, on Nov. 2 lifted the pall of gloom. “He was able to hold him and feed him, and the baby brought Nick a tremendous amount of joy,” said Joanna.
But it was a brief respite; the 32-year-old passed away on Jan. 18.
While grieving and struggling to make sense of her loss, Mrs. Chiarulli, a first-grade special-education teacher at PS 29 in her home community of Castleton Corners, was approached by a colleague, Joanne Licata. Ms. Licata connected the widow to the Charleston-based charity Emergency Children’s Health Organization.