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Hundreds of Downey-area residents did the Rancho-Motion with more than 40 Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center patients who participated in a Summer Festival at the world-renowned hospital last Friday.
The six hour special event, funded by the Rancho Los Amigos Foundation, included an Arts & Crafts of Rancho show and a Performing Arts of Rancho concert.
One patient, known as "Magic Mike," did several fabulous magic tricks and then addressed the crowd: "I want you all to know that I wouldn't be here tonight without the people who helped me here at Rancho Los Amigos," he said, his voice cracking with emotion. "I came here after having two strokes that left me unconscious. Before I came to Rancho, my family was told I would never be able to walk or talk again," he said as a tear rolled down his cheek. "And look at me now! I can walk, I can talk, I can even do magic. It is a miracle!" And then he could speak no more.
The crowd applauded loudly as this humble man bowed and walked to the back of the stage, cheered every step of the way. On this day, Mike was truly magic.
His story was just one of the remarkable moments from the craft fair and Performing Arts show, which is told by the emotion in these photos of those who worked so hard to bring the Spirit of Rancho to the community.
All photos by Diane and Greg Waskul.
Published: June 13, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 09