WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/978308

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Page 90 of 199

E L I Z A B E T H S U N E B Y writer my problems. Everyone has problems they have to cope with," he states with matter-of-fact humility. IN SERVICE TO OTHERS: allis ministerio* Ben is a rising senior at Wellesley High School, a strong student whose favorite subjects are Latin and physics. His sister, Charlotte, attends Wellesley Middle School. Older sister, Lucy, a Wellesley High School graduate, is completing a year of public service in education as a City Year Boston AmeriCorps member. She works with fourth graders at the K-8 Tobin School in Roxbury before, during, and after the school day. In 2017, both Lucy and Ben received the President's Volunteer Service Award. President George W. Bush established the civil award in 2003 to honor volunteers who give hundreds of hours each year to helping oth- ers. Ben volunteers through Boston Cares, a nonprofit that connects vol- unteers to more than 250 projects each month. He has collected books for prisoners, sorted provisions at a food pantry, and he even rang the bell for Salvation Army in front of Roche Brothers on Christmas Eve day while recuperating from his tibia/fibula osteotomy. And less than a month later, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Ben joined his parents, younger sister, and other Boston Cares volunteers to make civics flash- cards to help immigrants study for the U.S. citizenry exam. HEALTH CARE FOR ALL: salus cura omnis Ironically, Rani — an associate professor of health law, policy, and man- agement at the Boston University School of Public Health and a research health scientist at the Veterans Health Administration — studies how on december 28, 2017, Ben Elwy stood up for the first time since October 18 when he underwent his 37th oper- ation in his 16 years of life. This last operation required four surgeons and eight hours in the operating room. Ben, who has a very rare genetic disorder that affects the skeletal/ muscular system called Schwartz-Jampel syndrome, had a tibia/fibula osteotomy, meaning both bones were cut, and a Taylor Spatial Frame was fixed on his leg for six months. "Two wires, five pins, one screw, and six struts that we will loathe but try to appreciate every day. One day it will lead to a straighter and more functional leg," explains Rani Elwy, Ben's mom. "Starting next week, we will turn these struts every day, according to a computer algorithm, to get the tibia and fibula in the right place. Once we've achieved that, Ben will be able to walk again. As Abraham Lincoln once said, 'This too shall pass.'" Gratitude and optimism in the face of profound challenges. This sums up the modus operandi of the entire Elwy family that includes 16-year-old Ben, mom Rani, dad Sherin, and Ben's 19-year-old sister Lucy and 12-year-old sister Charlotte. Ben doesn't readily speak about or draw attention to his difficulties with mobility, eyesight, or breathing. "I don't like to make a big deal of opposite page: Sherin, Ben, and Flo Elwy take a walk in the Wellesley Farms area. Ben is working on his physical fitness goals as one of four parts of The Congressional Award. He received the Bronze Medal from Representative Joseph P. Kennedy, III in April and is working on goals toward the Silver and Gold Medal levels. *Latin translations provided by Ben Elwy 89 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 8

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