If you would have walked into their house two years ago, you would have thought they were just a couple of newlyweds living the life. What you wouldn’t have known was that they were actually feeling very empty. They might have had a big house filled with the latest electronics, but what they wanted was a home filled with children to share their love. My brother Sal and his wife Sharilyn are my heroes because they have devoted their lives to serving less fortunate children. She is a special needs preschool teacher, he is recently disabled but stays active in the community, and together they are finally getting the family they always dreamed about.
Sharilyn has been teaching special needs preschool since she graduated from Northern Arizona University in 1996 with dual bachelor’s degrees in elementary and special education. She taught at an elementary school in Apache Junction for ten years. In the summer of 2006, she received her master’s in early childhood education, also from NAU, but this time through distance learning. That fall she moved to Phoenix to marry my brother, November 4th to be exact, and she began teaching in the Deer Valley Unified School District. Not only does Sharilyn teach full time, but she is also actively involved in her own children’s education as well as actively involved on the PTA board at her school. If that wasn’t enough, she is also in charge of the children’s music program at their church.
Sal, my brother, is pretty amazing as well. Unfortunately, shortly after they wed he was diagnosed with two very painful auto immune diseases. After 15 years of owning a small business, he had to end that part of his life. Even with his illnesses Sal doesn’t have time to just sit on the couch and feel sorry for himself. Currently, he is the PTA president at the school where their children attend and Sharilyn teaches. He spends several days each week filling in for the front office staff as well. Just this fall he started...