9/22/17 – Noah’s Playground to break ground in New Bedford – Monday, September 25 at 10:30 a.m., New Bedford Guide
Team Noah seeks to find a cure for rare disease
DARTMOUTH — Inspired by her little boy’s courageous battle against a rare
disease, Christine Fernandes became fixated on the dream of starting a
foundation in his honor to help local children and their families impacted by
medical and developmental disabilities. Two years later, she saw her wish
The Team Noah Foundation was recently founded in honor of Noah Fernandes,
who was diagnosed in 2006 with M.E.L.A.S., a progressive and degenerative
mitochondrial disease. “My deepest desire is to make Noah’s name live on long
after his life allows, and for years to come for children to be supported and nurtured
all because of my courageous little boy and the dream he placed in our hearts,”
Christine Fernandes said. One of the foundation’s main goals is to help fund research for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation
(UMDF) in hopes a cure can be found. Another goal is to support The Schwartz Center for Children, where Noah received physical,
occupational, speech and aquatic therapies.
“What this school has done for Noah and my family is not repayable and that is where my dream comes in,” Christine Fernandes.
Her husband, Victor Fernandes, said his family was so moved by the support they received from the center that there aren’t enough
words to describe the impact it has had on their lives.
“The Schwartz Center has been exceptional to the wonderful kids that go to the school or get special services there,” Victor Fernandes
said. “We have witnessed this since we started…we’ve lived it and my son enjoyed the tons of love, smiles and happiness for him and
other students, from teachers, nurses and the rest of the staff at the Center.”
On March 1, the Team Noah Foundation will hold its First Annual Wine Tasting at the United Fisherman’s Club, located at 639 Orchard St.,
New Bedford. Proceeds will go toward the purchase of a new transport van for the Schwartz Center for Children, which serves children with
a variety of special medical and developmental needs from birth to age 21.
Noah attended the center until last July.
“There aren’t enough words in the vocabulary to thank all the wonderful staff. Being a part of Schwartz Center has made me a different person
and the experience has changed our lives forever,” said Victor Fernandes.
Raising funds for the center has practically become a ritual for the Fernandes family. Last September, Team Noah, organized by the Fernandes
family, was the largest team at the Schwartz Center for Children Annual Walk, with more than 150 teammates. The team also took the top
fundraiser prize with more than $15,000 in pledges collected.
The family is now hoping to have about 500 people attend the Wine Tasting fundraiser. So far, more than 400 tickets have been sold.
The Fernandes are also hoping to raise enough funds through the Foundation to have the new van, which was delivered this week, paid off
before the end of the year.
For tickets, call 774-473-9776 or visit www.teamnoahfoundation.org
Email Lurdes C. da Silva