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Saturday, April 19, 2014
Handicap swing installed at Rec Centre
John Maher/Herald
Wendy Abrams watched her son smile through his first ride on the new swing.

The John Anderson Recreation Center received a new handicap swing at a touching ceremony on the morning of Monday, Oct. 28.

The swing, donated by the Children’s Wish Foundation and the Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh, was installed in honor of John ‘Buddy’ Abrams, an eighteen-month-old village resident who was diagnosed with small cell glioblastoma of the brain in April 2013. After an unsuccessful surgery — the doctors were unable to remove the entire tumor —Buddy was given three to six months to live, and soon became unable to play with other children, or even sit up.

Buddy’s parents, Wendy and Johnathan, wanted to give their son a chance to play with his brothers and sisters. So Wendy reached out to the Children’s Wish Foundation and to Mayor Francis X. Murray, who granted permission for the Foundation to install a swing in Buddy’s honor.

“Thanks to the perseverance of Buddy’s mom, Wendy, she was able to make today’s dedication possible” said Murray at the ribbon-cutting. “Wendy’s dream came true for her son, but she also touched the lives and left a mark for many other families who have children with special needs.”

Those in attendance couldn’t help but smile as Buddy, placed gently in the swing, showed off a big grin.

“It’s amazing,” said Wendy. “It was definitely a tough road getting here, but the mayor was so instrumental in getting it done. We’re thrilled that he can go on a swing with his brothers and sisters and play like a normal kid.”

“It’s wonderful, and they said that they’re making a plaque for it, that it’s in honor of Buddy,” she added. “It’s beyond words.”

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