Golf fundraiser raises money for Youngstown boy after rare disease leaves him blind

Local News

Hundreds of raffle baskets, hundreds of people and thousands of golf balls all filled Parto's Golf Center to support Michael

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – About a month ago, First News reported on a little boy from Youngstown whose rare disease left him blind.

Michael Parteleno has been rapidly losing his sight since he was four.

His family owns Parto’s Golf Center, and on Saturday, hundreds of people came out to support the six-year-old and his family as they battle his unthinkable diagnosis.

Hundreds of raffle baskets, hundreds of people and thousands of golf balls all filled Parto’s Golf Center to support Michael.

“I thought we’d have a good reaction, but I couldn’t even have planned for this in my wildest dreams,” said Tom Parteleno, Michael’s dad.

A few months ago, Michael was diagnosed with Batten Disease. It is extremely rare and also degenerative, so he and his family have a long journey ahead of them.

“We’re just happy to be here to support Tommy and his son and help him through these troubles, you know. We wish them well and everybody’s out here just hoping for the best for him,” said golfer Dan Bradaick who attended the event

The money raised will go to Michael and his fight against Batten Disease.

Because it has left him blind, Tom had an idea for the fundraiser.

All of the golfers had to hit blindfolded.

“You can open your eyes, look at it and hit it, and it’s okay, and then, you put that blindfold on, your balance gets skewed, you lose that sense of security and stuff, and it’s total trust,” said Tom.

It gives some insight into what Michael lives with everyday.

“It’s tough when you can’t see. Just going through normal life and then trying to golf blindfolded is extra, extra hard. We’re doing it for fun, but unfortunately, his son has to do it everyday,” said Bradaick.

“It’s putting things in perspective and what people do battle and how fortunate we are, and we want to just help out as much as we can,” said golfer Missie Smith who also attended the event.

But at the end of it all, the Parteleno family is just thankful for the outpouring of support and love.

“Humble, and just very happy that people support us that much,” said Tom.

And they’ll never stop fighting for their son.

If you’d like to make a donation to the family and support Micheal’s journey, you can email or call 239-404-1117.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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