A fitness center on the Wilmington Riverfront is hosting a benefit to support two young members who remain hospitalized after being poisoned while on vacation earlier this year.
The brothers, 17-year-old Sean and 15-year-old Ryan Esmond, are receiving physical and speech therapy at Nemours A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital after their family was sickened by pesticide while vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands in March.
The boy’s parents, Stephen Esmond and Theresa Devine, are also receiving treatment.
The teens were members of CrossFit Wilmington where coach Kirsten Stallone described them as “class clowns” who lightened the mood of the class and always made people laugh.
“In the middle of a workout, Sean or Ryan would start yelling out random songs they wanted to hear, and it was fun to break up that tension,” she said.
Stallone said the teens were like “little brothers” to many of the gym members and class without them hasn’t been the same. Stallone and other gym coaches make weekly visits to the hospital where the brothers still have a long road to recovery.
“The poison had an effect on them that is affecting their muscles and things like that, and we’re still working on that goal of getting out of A.I. duPont,” she said.
On Saturday the gym is hosting a public workout and raffle to raise money for A.I. duPont.
“It’s a basic workout, it’s a partner workout because they’re brothers and they’re in this together so we figured that would be the best way to represent them,” she said.
A donation will be made to the hospital in the family’s name.
“It was hard to think of what we were going to do but as soon as we visited A.I. and we saw the nurses and the family they have established within the hospital, because that is the boy’s new family now, we wanted to contribute to them.”
The Esmond family was also blessed by the Pope during the final moments of his visit to Philadelphia.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. until noon at Crossfit Riverfront in Wilmington. All ages are and skill levels are welcome to participate.
Donations can also be made through their GoFundMe page.
Contact Shana O’Malley at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @shanaomalley