Wamesit Lanes People Of The Week: Kiley And Mackenzie Reitano
May 20, 2016 10:53AM
By Bill Gilman
Ginny Sites (right), restaurant manager for Wamesit Lanes, presents gift cards to this week's Wamesit Lanes People of the week, Kiley & Mackenzie Reitano.
(Editor's note: Person of the Week is sponsored by Wamesit Lanes. Do you know a friend, neighbor or family member who deserves a pat on the back for something cool they've done? Nominate them for Person of the Week by emailing their name, along with the reason they should be honored, to Bill@yourtewksburytoday.com)
Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, and a number of other symptoms, including problems with memory, sleep and mood.
It would have been easy for Kiley Reitano, 17, to wallow in self-pity when she was diagnosed two years ago. However, she has chosen to use her time and energy to raise awareness regarding fibromyalgia in order to help others like herself.
And she has not been alone in her efforts. Kiley's younger sister MacKenzie, 12, has been right by her side, not only helping her sister raise awareness, but also as a best friend, helping Kiley deal with the debilitating symptoms of the disease.
For this reason, these two sisters are our Wamesit Lanes People of the Week.
"If anything, this (disease) has made us closer," said Kiley, a junior at Tewksbury High. "A lot of my friends don't really understand what I'm going through. But (Mackenzie) understands. She is with me every day."
The Reitano sisters' crowning achievement came last week, when Gov. Charlie Baker declared May 12 as Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.
The Reitano sisters were nominated to be Wamesit Lanes People of the Week by their parents, Mary and Mike. Mary's nomination e-mail reads, as follows:
We would like to nominate our daughters Kiley & Mackenzie Reitano. I understand this is to nominate "person of the week" but in our family you will soon read that you can't nominate one without the other. Like most sisters these girls have their Good days and bad, but there is a little bit of a different situation here. Kiley who is a junior at TMHS was diagnosed with fibromyalgia two years ago. This is a debilitating, life altering disease that causes wide spread pain 24/7. There is NO cure. This turned her world upside down as it did ours. Many late night ER visits to Boston Childrens Hospital and many years of specialists to figure this all out. While living with this horrible disease, Kiley has missed school but worked diligently to make up anything she has missed and maintained all A's and B's. She has lost friends and lost time we all take for granted due to this horrible disease. Some days are worse then others but everyday she tries her best. She goes to school, works part time, goes to the gym and still smiles. She recently received approval from her proclamation request to Governor Baker to make May 12 National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.
Now, Mackenzie is 12 and is a student at the Ryan school. She also maintains A's and B's. She has had to follow in the footsteps of her sister and those have been big shoes to fill. But more importantly Mackenzie has been a big support system for her sister. She has been there to just listen or to be a hand to hold in the ER. With all we have gone through with Kiley as a family, Mackenzie has had to take a unintentional back seat.
We couldn't be more proud of these two and all they have accomplished and overcome. Sisters by blood and best friends by choice. We are two very proud parents and want others to know too.
For being named Wamesit Lanes Person of the Week, Kiley and Mackenzie received a gift card from Wamesit Lanes Family Entertainment Center.
Do you know a friend, neighbor or family member who deserves a pat on the back for something cool they've done? Nominate them for Person of the Week by emailing their name, along with the reason they should be honored, to Bill@yourtewksburytoday.com.
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