At St. Thomas Aquinas High School, we often refer to ourselves as one large family. Students, faculty, administrators, parents, siblings and alumni create one large extended family of faith, academia and mission. Thus, when one member of our family is hurting, the rest of the family members react with compassion and action. This has been recently best evidenced through a coach’s personal journey of pain with his sister- and the reaction from his players.
Assistant Football Coach Chris Stamoulis’ sister, Paula Corey, suffers from Erythromelalgia, a rare vascular disorder in which blood vessels in the lower extremities and/or hands are blocked. As a consequence, they become hyperemic and inflamed, which causes sever burning pain and skin redness. Paula has been forced to stop working full-time as the pain and discomfort of this condition ravages her body and treatments remain elusive.
This Saturday, September 9, the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints football team will play their first Varsity home game against Pelham at 2pm; they are dedicating the game to Paula. They will wear a special “EM” sticker on their helmets, distribute flyers to the crowd before the game explaining Erythromelalgia and use the public address system to raise awareness for this condition that has so drastically affected this woman’s life.
Life’s pains and woes ebb and flow but there are some circumstances that place gentle perspective on the oft-used word: “challenge.” The Stamoulis/Corey Family has been truly challenged and it is STA’s turn to support and transform their experience from one of quiet suffering into an act of familial love.
See you at the game.
A touching video of Paula and her journey can be viewed here.