Ohio Boy's Death Sparks Nationwide Porch Light Vigil
When Gino Altieri of Stow lost his battle with cancer on June 24, communities near and far participated in a porch light vigil. Check out Stow Patch's most-read story of 2012.
Editor's Note: This week, we'll feature Stow Patch's best posts from 2012. Here's our most-read piece about a boy who inspired a nation with his passing. On Christmas Eve, we ask that you switch your porch light on and remind little Gino, and those like him, that hope is shining brightly in Stow.
The news of his death moved people from Stow and around the country — in Texas, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, South Carolina and even in Stow's backyard in Cuyahoga Falls — to turn their porch lights on for Gino.
Even a family from England said in the comments section of this story that their porch lights were on from across the pond.
"You've heard of 'The shot heard round the world' ... well, I think Gino is the light seen around the world," said Susan Deitrick, Gino's teacher. "People who never even met him seem to have found light and hope just reading or hearing of his valor, his feistiness in the face of the dreadful foe, cancer, or 'Grievous' as the little Star Wars fan referred to it."
Several people who said they never met Gino or his family saw stories about him on Facebook and wanted to offer their condolences.
"I have seen a few comments about him on Facebook from several friends, and I know he was a great inspiration to many people and that so many love him. He will truly be missed by many. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. My porch lights are on as well," said Heath Johnson Sunday evening in the comments section of this story.
Click here for the porch light vigil Facebook event to see even more people who are participating.
The Lakeview Intermediate student passed away Sunday around 2 p.m. after a battle with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma — an aggressive pediatric cancer that affects soft tissue.
Gino had been battling cancer since it was first diagnosed on Sept 14, 2010.
Taylor asked community members to put their porch lights on Sunday evening in a Patch announcement and to leave them on until Tuesday morning.
"It will be our way of sending our love and prayers to the Altieri family," she said. "Let's shine bright for Gino!"
Add photos of your porch lights to this post by clicking "upload photos and videos."