Benefit for Marshall set for Sunday

By Matthew White

Sun Staff Writer

NORWICH – A group of locals are heeding the call to care for one of their own this coming Sunday Sept. 14 in downtown Norwich, banding together with great area musicians to generate funding for the Miracle of Marshall.

Marshall Sepello was born against all odds earlier in 2014 with a rare congenital heart condition in which he was diagnosed while still in the womb.

Since then, little Marshall – “The Miracle” – has fought his way through eight staggering months of tests, procedures, surgeries and constant monitoring.

Friend of the family, Todd Cole of Norwich and others, have stepped up to the plate to organize a benefit in honor of Marshall this weekend, and the public is invited to attend.

“I've been friends with Michael (father of Marshall) for over 20 years now, so I knew that I had to do something to help Rebecca, Michael and Marshall (Sepello) out,” Cole said.

With a visit to “The Miracle of Marshall” – a blog penned by Rebecca that serves as both a timeline of milestones and a much- needed outlet – it is obvious that working through trying times has certainly molded her perspective on the fragility of life in terms of her own child.

With that being said, Marshall's parents have always prided themselves on being stoic and private about their plight as they continue to courageously fight along aside the fiery-haired Marshall.

“The family is private when it comes to personal matters, and for that we took it upon ourselves to organize the benefit in an effort to support our longtime friends,” said Cole.

According to Cole, organizing the benefit was the brain-child of Pat Dietrich, who pitched the idea to other friends and acquaintances. “Rob and Shannon Leahy and Sarah and Mike Woods in addition to Pat and I all worked very hard to put this together, and we were glad to do it,” Cole said.

The Sepellos continue to face many challenges on a day-by-day basis. Focusing on giving Marshall, now only a mere eight months old – along with his three elder brothers – the best life possible is their biggest concern.

The benefit comes right on the heels of a recent milestone. Currently, Marshall is in Boston recovering from his second open heart surgery – a bilateral bidirectional cavopulmonary – that he underwent on Tuesday.

There's no question of the exhaustive burdens that come in many forms for both Marshall and his parents. The bombardment of financial stress the family has been forced to endure as they travel throughout upstate New York and New England to facilitate Marshall's varied and complex medical procedures is just one.

“We've organized an extremely entertaining experience including live music from multiple genres the likes of Mike Davis, Tumbleweed Highway and a debut performance by new local rockers Blind Mowing,” Cole said.

In addition to great local talent, a series of raffles, auctions and delicious foods will be available.

The action is set to begin this upcoming Sunday, Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. and continue until at least 6 p.m. at the Blarney Stone Pub on S. Broad. St. in downtown Norwich.

“This is a kid-friendly, family-oriented event that is scheduled to go until 6 p.m., a minimum donation of $5 at the door will buy you a great time and help support Marshall.” Cole said.

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