June 16, 2015

When The Body’s Battery Isn’t Enough, A Donated Golf Cart Helps One Brave Boy Scout Fulfill a Dream

Donated Golf Cart Helps One Brave Boy Scout
Last year, the Supervisors were asked to loan one of the old golf carts to the Resica Boy Scout Camp because Nick Gorski, a thirteen-year-old Boy Scout, has a unique problem with energy. It has nothing to do with technology, and everything to do with the cells in his body.

Nick has mitochondrial disease, a progressive terminal disease that prevents his body from regaining energy from food at the molecular level. When that energy is gone, cells in the body die, leading to whole system failures as vital organs simply shut down.

For Nick, this means that very moment of activity must be carefully planned, and he can’t risk using too much energy. After all, every action – walking, talking, even breathing – requires energy. If the wrong system can’t find the energy it needs to function, it dies, taking the body with it.

There is currently no cure for mitochondrial disease, and the only treatment is to help cope with symptoms as they arrive. Yet in the USA alone, every thirty minutes a child is born who will eventually be diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, according to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UNDF).

That’s why ever since Nick was diagnosed in 2009, he and his parents have been strong advocates for treatment research.

“When he said he wanted to be a boy scout, we cringed,” said Gina, Nick’s mother and leader of the Delaware Valley chapter of the UNDF. “How is he going to do that? It took a lot of planning.”

When Supervisor Mike Dwyer and Annette Atkinson caught wind of the Nick’s plight, they were compelled to help. They arranged for Nick to borrow one of the older carts from the Country Club of the Poconos Municipal Golf Course. For Nick’s family it was a game changer. “When they said we could use the golf cart, I was elated,” said Nick’s mom.

This year in 2015, the Supervisors wanted to take it a step further. “This young man struggles just to eat and breathe,” said Supervisor Mike Dwyer, “yet here he is fighting to earn his badges right along with the other boy scouts. It’s an inspiration.”

The supervisors will present Nick’s family and the Resica Boy Scout Camp with a reconditioned golf cart during a presentation at the regular Board of Supervisors meeting on June 25th. Nick will use the cart to help him get around the Resica Scout Reservation as he continues to earn his badges, and the cart will continue to be available in the future to others who need help maneuvering throughout the camp.

Supervisors Annette Atkinson and Mike Dwyer pose with the donated golf cart. Photo credit: Bob Ciavatta, Pocono Record