In the fifth month of pregnancy, Tony & Sandy Cappelli found out that their expectant son had a fatal heart disease and would not be able to live more than a few hours. Even though they lived about 20 miles from one of the best hospitals in the world treating this type of disease, they were too far away and would have to relocate within minutes of the hospital.
Unfortunately, surgery and transplant were not viable options and in December of 2000, Steven Joseph Cappelli was born and lived for 32 hours.
In the months that followed, Tony & Sandy searched for a way to ease the pain and find a meaning for it all. They felt compelled to help other families facing similar situations.
After talking with social workers at several hospitals, they found that many families must temporarily relocate near the hospital while their child is receiving outpatient care. It becomes an even bigger burden once the child is released from the hospital but must remain near the facility for outpatient care and rehabilitation. Depending on the illness, this can be for several months at a time.
The pressure of supporting two households, a possible reduction in income, coping with physical pain of a child and being in an unfamiliar area is too much stress for most families to deal with. One crisis has now caused another.
With the help of family, business associates, and friends, Tony & Sandy started Steven’s Hope for Children, Inc. with the purpose of alleviating some of the stress of dealing with seriously ill or injured children while away from home. It is their belief that keeping the family unit healthy is foremost and doing whatever is necessary to support the family is essential.