Wednesday January 17th 2018

Helping dad

Alessia Commisso is bringing back an old-fashioned summer business idea to raise money for her father.

The eight-year-old is setting up a lemonade stand on the driveway of her family’s Broomhill Cr. home this Sunday, from 1-4 p.m. Proceeds from sales will help pay for physiotherapy for her father, Tony Commisso, who has multiple sclerosis (MS).

Commisso, 46, recently travelled to California for liberation treatment, not yet available in Canada. Developed by Italian physician Dr. Paolo Zamboni, the controversial treatment is based on his theory that narrowed neck veins are behind MS symptoms.

Sonia Commisso, 39, says the family has been trying to pay for the physiotherapy her husband needs after the treatment, but money is tight.

And, the family is facing other challenges as well. The Commissos’ 17-year-old son, Cosimo, experiences seizures and has a learning disability, and Alessia has a rare form of a mitochondrial disease, similar to the condition that took the life of her sister, Jesse, 10 years ago at the age of two. Alessia also suffers seizures.

Sonia Commisso says she’s proud of Alessia for helping her father.

“For me, it’s beautiful seeing that she’s putting herself aside,” she said. “I’ve tried to teach them to help others because, even though they have their own challenges, they can’t always expect to receive help.
“I’m honoured to be her mother; this is a blessing for me,” Sonia continued. “Eight years of life and she’s as wise as an old woman sometimes.”

Sonia Commisso says her family has the right attitude.

“When your mobility is limited, you have to be creative,” she said, adding they’re fortunate to have family and friends who are always willing to help. “A disability is the ability to think differently and do things differently. I don’t think of it negatively, but rather everyone has the opportunity to live their life to the max and it’s how you look at it and perceive life.”

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