Ann Romney Brings Personal Message to St. Petersburg

Mitt Romney's wife touched on her own battle with MS, when she visited a new therapeutic playground at All Children's Hospital.

Ann Romney delivered a message of hope and optimism Wednesday morning at the grand opening for a new theraupetic playground at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg: "Our little ones are our responsibility," she said. "It is our responsibility to take care of them and make sure their lives have joy."

"No matter our limits, it is important to know joy," Romney, 63, told the crowd, which included parents of children with serious disabilities and medical conditions.

Ann Romney's visit to St. Petersburg was her first public appearance since she made a heartfelt, well-received speech Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Romney offered a personal story of her life and love for husband, Mitt, in support of his GOP nomination for president.

Wednesday morning, her remarks were just as anecdotal, with Romney revealing her own struggles with multple sclerosis, an incurable disease that attacks the nervous system.

"I know someting about physical therapy, and I know something about joy," Romney said, noting that she used horseback riding as physical therapy when diagnosed with MS at age 49. Her comments also revealed a comfort for public speaking that seemed to belie a more corporate public demeanor.

She told the crowd how "grateful" she was for her visit and repeated some sage advice she received from an 11-year-old patient moments before walking on stage: " 'Let your light shine," Seth Morano of Sarasota told Romney upon meeting her. "You're going to be great."

Her appearance at the RNC Tuesday and at the ribbon-cutting Wednesday showed a softer side of Mitt Romney and the GOP presidential campaign. A small number of GOP leaders attended the event, including U.S. Rep. Bill Young, Florida Reps. Jim Frishe and Rich Glorioso, and St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster.

While Ann Romney spoke in St. Petersburg Wednesday morning, her sons, Ben and Craig, campaigned in Palm Harbor, speaking to a breakfast crowd of Florida delegates.

The Romney family's candor at both events seemed to charm people. "I wish every day we could have a grand opening day at the playground," Seth declared when the speech ended and the children could play uninterrupted.

Benefits of Therapeutic Playground

Seth has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. His parents, Jennifer and David Morano, said that Seth will be using the slides and swings at the new playground for his physical therapy. Jennifer drives Seth from their Sarasota home to St. Petersburg for his physical therapy.

Allie Ribner, his physical therapist, said the children can improve motor skills and benefit from sensory stimulation at the outdoor playground. The playground – with its soft surfaces and cradled swings – also enables young people with disabilities to enjoy recreation with their siblings and other family members, which often is denied to them because of their limitations.

David Morano lifted his son from his wheelchair and carried him up the steps of a slide and placed the boy in the chute, as Seth squealed with joy. Seth's 9-year-old brother, Noah, played nearby.

"We're here for Seth. We're part of his world here," David said. "This will be a place for him to enjoy, to have fun."

Story Behind the Therapeutic Playground

The playground was developed though fundraising efforts and donations of credit union members. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and the National Journal Group partnered to develop the therapuetic playground "as a leave-behind project."  CUNA has a history of developing projects that benefit communities where National Party conventions are held.

Lynda August 30, 2012 at 07:48 PM
President Obama was too young to fight in Vietnam. He opposed the Bush II invasion of Iraq. He is not cheerleading for war like VP Cheney (5 deferments) or Gov. Romney who wants to send Americans to fight the civil war in Syria and wants to attack Iran. Let people who support war go themselves or send their children. Neither of the Bush II twins entered the military. None of Gov. Romney's healthy five sons did military service. VP Biden's son did his service. Guess which party has real patriots and not chicken hawks.
Cisco August 30, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Ryan: Medicare should not be a piggy bank for ObamaCare Ryan then went on to slam the Independent Payment Advisory Board as a rationing system, a message that Mitt Romney also delivered in a podcast earlier today. “In addition to that,” Ryan continued, “he puts a board of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of Medicare — who are required to [cut] care in ways that will lead to denied care for current seniors.” http://hotair.com/archives/2012/08/18/ryan-medicare-should-not-be-a-piggy-bank-for-obamacare/
cherylwithac August 30, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Yes, I remember--a balanced budget, a robust economy--what an ordeal it was.
Swiffer Wet Jet August 30, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Late 90's Tech Bubble in the stock market, artificially inflated property values, ignoring terrorist threats (i.e. WTC '93, and a chance to make a preemptive strike on Bin Laden, USS Cole)....... shall we continue?
Jack Sprat August 30, 2012 at 09:13 PM
I cannot understand why liberals are always condemning success - Romney worked smart, worked hard and made a lot of money. So what? That tells me he is a manager and a leader who knows how to motivate people and make money. Having a community organizer as president means we have more debt than ever thought possible and all he wants to do is borrow more and give it away. I suspect that the liberal posters here are either jealous of success or are receiving govt support and don't want to lose it. Or both. Anyone here willing to trade their health and take on MS and breast cancer if they could get a lot of money? Who among you has spent two years volunteering to work for your church? Who among you is giving $3.5 Million a year to charity? Who among you would be willing to give all of a sizable inheritance (or lottery winnings) to a charity? Please tell us why you criticize success.
Swiffer Wet Jet August 30, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Jack....you honestly think you're gonna get an HONEST answer? The Kool-Aids drinkers among us posters will go silent so quickly you'll hear a pin drop!
Allie's Grandpa August 30, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Romney/Ryan will destroy everything that is Medicare, EXCEPT for the name "Medicare." My children, and my grandchild, will have nothing but a voucher that will become worth close to nothing, bupkis, nada. I could sit on my keester and say "no worries" for (1) me and my (2) wife, as I am already a recipient, and she is over 55. But my kids and your kids will get screwed by Romney/Ryan's voucher substitution for true Medicare, and my grandchildren your grandchildren, or your neices and your nephews, will get screwed by Romney/Ryan's voucher substitution for true Medicare. So, unless you care only about yourself, and unless you don't give a tinker's damn for the next generation, and the generations to come, you should not allow the GOP to get away with the lie that they are "saving Medicare," because all that they are saving is the name "Medicare."
Jack Sprat August 30, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I see that you know everything. Thank you for your input. The way I see it, I am already getting screwed and my children and grandchildren will definitely get the same treatment if we allow Obama another four years of making sure that happens. I would rather have a president who has proven beyond a doubt that he knows how to run a business and balance a budget. I know, you want to make the handouts permanent and keep the debt running up and passed on to our kids. You are quite clearly looking out for yourself and want the next generations to pay it back.
Lynda August 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Remember "Pay as you go'? Just which party held the country hostage until every single thing needed to shown as paid for in advance of passing? Not that the GOP bothered to pay for the Iraq war, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy or any of the spending done during the Bush II years. ObamaCare is paid for. It will provide needed healthcare to millions who are suffering now and dying too early because of poor access to heathcare. Shame on you for your double speak.
Cisco August 30, 2012 at 10:27 PM
ObamaCare is paid for by taking the money from MediCare. The President chose his plan at the expense of the Elderly.
Lynda August 30, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Jack, I am really tired of your "liberals are always . . ." comments. I doubt you read enough to know what liberals think and you certainly don't have any liberal friends who tell you what they think.. Stop attacking "liberals'. No liberal is condemning success. Not President Obama, not VP Biden, not any Democratic member of the House or Senate and certainly not the Democratic Party Platform. Liberals work very hard towards establishing a level playing field so as many people as possible can achieve success in all the ways success is defined. Many of us are successful, donate substantially to charity and are great community volunteers. Many of us volunteered to do our military service during Vietnam unlike VP Cheney and Gov. Romney and other chickenhawks who love war but don't want to dirty their own hands by serving in war. We appreciate the advantages the Romney's have; we want make sure other people can have those advantages too. If you think Gov. Romney made his money "working hard" or "motivating people" it is obvious you have never been in a business in which you made millions. Try doing research about Bain's history. One thing I love was the guaranteed contract Mr. Romney had so he took absolutely no risk. Just like so many CEO's today. They get golden parachutes (Progress Energy) for a day's work and workers get laid off. And then there was all that money invested in Bain from "Latin America . . . Right. That's what I call working hard for your money!
Lynda August 30, 2012 at 11:11 PM
"A board of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats"? You mean unlike those "elected, accountable bureaucrats' employed by my for-profit insurance company" who has hired a foreign call center? Dream on if you think the current system is better for anyone except the for-profit insurance companies. Rep Ryan is clueless about health insurance because he has always had the nice safe, single payer, generous Federal plan just for Congress.
Walt Kowalski August 30, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Envy is a terrible thing to exhibit, wouldn't you say?
Cisco August 30, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Death Panels .Those Unelected Unaccountable Bureaucrats in ObamaCare.
Sahara August 30, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Jack...your assumption that government should be run like a business is fundamentally wrong. Government is a completely different entity that should not make a profit, just like churches. Oops, another organization that didn't listen to it's founder in regard to this matter. Remember, Jack, you don't have to believe everything you think.
Cisco August 31, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Death Panels. Those that will decide whether Granny deserves to be given treatment, or to put it bluntly stay alive.
Lynda August 31, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Love the last line in your comment! Wish I weren't too irritated to be as clever!
Dad of Three August 31, 2012 at 05:02 AM
Jack Sprat responded to the comments of Allie's Grandpa about Medicare, who had noted how the next two generations of Americans would have that turned into no more than a voucher program (i.e., Romney & Ryan would kill Medicare, except for the name), but Mr Sprat chides Allies Grandpa by telling him "you want to make the handouts permanent." Sorry, Mr Sprat, but Medicare is NOT a handout, and millions of Americans today, and tens of millions over the next several generations of Americans, will be healthier in their old age because of this essential program. My mother and father counted on Medicare, and they did not consider it any handout; they paid their contributions over the years, and the government program helped them in their old age. I am now a Medicare recipient as well, and I want to make sure that my parents grandchildren, and my grandchildren, will also have Medicare to help when they reach old age. Medicare is extending a hand, Mr Sprat, not a handout as you like to instead call it.
Jack Sprat September 01, 2012 at 06:28 AM
If you bought and paid for your Medicare, why is it going bankrupt? You did nothing other than pay an insurance premium and nothing is guaranteed - you don't even have a written contract that spells out what you are "entitled" to receive. The govt makes that decision. So far, it has been a great ride and everyone gets far more than they paid for - yippee! Something for nothing! That is a handout. Designed to buy votes. Always supported by both parties and all politicians - they cannot tell the truth, it might cost them those valuable votes.
Jack Sprat September 01, 2012 at 06:30 AM
Of course Obama is telling you what you want to hear - after all, he was elected once based on promises, so he is trying the same strategy again. You won't get what you think you were promised if we continue on the current path - you should be glad to know that someone realizes that and has the courage to tell you and the intelligence to propose a plan to save it for you and future generations. Everyone knows all entitlements and/or 187 welfare programs (and all govt spending) are out of hand and we can't keep borrowing a trillion dollars every year. So Ryan comes up with what could be a reasonable reform proposal that might save the program - and we do not have to pass the bill before we can see what it does and does not provide. By the way, Ryan never proposed a voucher program to the exclusion of the standard Medicare plan, it was proposed as a choice. Obamacare doesn't make healthcare more affordable, it just allows/forces taxpayers to pay more to insure non-taxpayers. http://factcheck.org/2012/08/outdated-attacks-on-ryan/
TaterSalad September 01, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Barack Obama's second term in office will be a dictatorship if not permanent and here is why.....in his own words: http://therealrevo.com/blog/?p=82380
gg September 01, 2012 at 11:31 PM
It will be he*l on earth and we don't deserve that.
Jack Sprat September 02, 2012 at 03:53 PM
In case you did not take a look at Obama's comments referred to by Tater: “So my expectation is that there will be some popping of the blister after this election, because it will have been such a stark choice. Where Republicans refuse to cooperate on things that I know are good for the American people, I will continue to look for ways to do it administratively and work around Congress. And a good example of that is, for example, making sure that homeowners around the country can take advantage of these historically low rates and refinance. There’s no reason Congress can’t move forward and at almost no cost to the federal government really boost the housing market and our economy. But if Congress won’t do it, we’ll keep on looking for ways to get that done without legislation.” ....I KNOW what is good for the American people.... .....I WILL CONTINUE to work around congress.... ......we’ll keep on looking for ways to get that done without legislation. Really? Is that what the DEMOCRATIC system is all about?
Jack Sprat September 02, 2012 at 03:54 PM
And not a word was taken out of context - look for the full interview in TIME magazine or read it here: http://swampland.time.com/2012/08/30/what-he-knows-now-obama-on-popularity-partisanship-and-getting-things-done-in-washington/#ixzz25HX2ED00
92635954 September 03, 2012 at 12:41 AM
More racist rants from supporters of the extreme right wing. Curious, when you pleasure Grover Norquist do you spit or swallow? Of courrse you swallow!
martin, bob September 03, 2012 at 08:53 AM
More racist rants from supporters of the extreme LEFT wing. Curious, when you pleasure Barack do you spit or swallow? Of courrse you swallow!
Dad of Three September 03, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Oh, Mr Sprat, get off the deceit and deception bus. The Ryan scheme is called "STARVE THE BEAST", and the radical right designed this process and strategic objective decades ago; the right wing starts to de-fund essential programs by diverting revenue flows to other competing parallel systems, and at some point the original program - namely, TRUE Medicare - collapses by lack of critical mass. Then the Starve-the-Beast plan leaves only the "private & for-profit sector" competing plan, which leaves all future generations, my daughters and sons, and my nieces and nephews, and my grandchildren and grand nephews and nieces, and all of the future generations of posters reading this thread, receiving a measly voucher which cover less and less of their health care costs, and all along the private insurance companies make obscene profits and their executives receive huge bonuses. In other words, Ryan is hoping that his little scam will not be realized by those who actually care about future generations. He will not leave true Medicare undamaged, and that is his actual plan, eliminate true Medicare as we all know it.
Goin' Commando September 03, 2012 at 04:11 PM
For Jack Sprat, you provided one FactCheck.org citation, but conveniently did not mention this one pointing out the Ryan lies and distortions: http://www.factcheck.org/2012/08/ryans-vp-spin/ Also, you should go to PolitiFact.com, which has helpful analyses: http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2012/aug/29/paul-ryan/did-barack-obama-break-promise-keep-gm-plant-open/ http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2012/aug/28/paul-ryan/ryan-says-incomes-went-down-nationally-under-obama/ http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/aug/29/paul-ryan/paul-ryan-said-president-obama-funneled-716-billio/
Jack Sprat September 04, 2012 at 05:33 AM
Obviously we have a lot of expert OPINIONS posted here, alsong with some understandings and misunderstandings about who is going to do what to whom. Here are some irrefutable facts: 1. We have $16 Trillion in debt to repay, with interest. 2. So far, this president has borrowed over $1 Trillion a year since taking office, running up our debt another $5 Trillion in 3 1/2 years. 3. 23 Million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. 4. The majority of the population believes they are not better off today than 3 1/2 years ago. 5. If we do nothing to save Medicare and Social Security, they will not exist in the future. Do we really want four more years of unresolved problems that he promsed to overcome during his first four years.
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