Thornton officer offers hope for families fighting Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Romito Foundation provides summer camp for kids

There is a man in town who protects the people of Thornton by day and in his spare time he offers hope for a whole different community.  He is a police officer and a 7Everyday Hero. 
Richard Romito moved his family to Colorado in 2006 and soon after he got some devastating news from doctors.
"They said: 'You're batting pretty good -- three out of four have it," said Romito. 
Three of his four sons were diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a life-threatening muscle disease. 
"The shock was when they said, 'Mr. Romito there's no treatment, there's no cure for your sons,'" said Romito.
That is when he started the Romito Foundation and an effort called "3-BAD" which stands for Brothers Against Duchenne. 
Romito said, "I'm going to carry the cross.  I am going to help them." 
The foundation takes kids on sports outings and hosts a summer camp. 
"By providing the camp, by providing the days out for the boys, the parents drop the kids off with us and now the mom and dad can go have that respite day, a date night, rekindle their love," said Romito. 
"When he first came to me with the idea, I thought that was crazy because we have so much going on right here," said Nicholas Romito, Richard's oldest son. 
The Romitos know too well the impact Duchenne can have on the whole family. 
"My wife has to do everything for these kids all day, every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.  She has quit her job to stay home and take care of my three boys," said Romito. 
And still Richard Romito is committed to helping not just his own family but others facing Duchenne as well. 
"It absolutely amazes me the selflessness that he has to spend so much time and energy on the needs of our entire DMD community and all of our warriors when his family has three sons with this disease," said Amy Smith, with the Romito Foundation. 
"God gave me this cross to carry.  He knew I would.  I'm hard headed.  I'm going to get things done. I'm going to go out there and help people.  I want to help people," said Romito. 
To learn more about Romito Foundation go to
Mitch Jelniker anchors 7NEWS in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on 7NEWS. 
Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero at www.TheDenverChannel.Com/nominate-7everyday-hero
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