"Don't Quit"
Jul 10, 2013 | 590 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The “Don’t Quit” T-shirt Megan Ajello is holding was sent to her by Bill and Helen Burton of Cleveland. Megan has cerebral palsy and scoliosis, but that has not stopped her from thinking of others instead of her own disability. She has undergone six serious surgeries, including a spinal fusion in 2010 to implant steel rods and 37 pins in her back to support her so her lungs could function. “It is inspiring to see a teenager so eager to help others, when many that age are self-centered,” Helen said. The Burtons first met Megan’s grandparents, Charlie and Emily Godino, on a European river cruise 12 years ago. Last year Helen sent Megan a YMCA shirt that had the slogan “DON’T QUIT” with the words “DO IT” emphasized — “and she does,” Helen said. An example of her generosity was when she had her Sweet 16 birthday, she asked all her friends to bring presents — not for herself, but to donate to the Marines’ Toys for Tots campaign. With the help of her parents, Danny and Linda, and younger sister Erin, 17, Megan has been giving back for 14 years, starting by giving out free lemonade in front of their house. Over the years, Megan’s Lemonade Stand has raised money for the March of Dimes, Special Olympics, YMCA, and for the Bishop Ahern High School, which she attends. She was greeted at her house by stars, including Robinson Cano, Kate Upton and Melissa Joan Hart. The New York Yankees built her an accessible lemonade stand at the stadium and honored Megan for her efforts in 2011 during HOPE week, when she threw out the ceremonial first pitch.