Source: Timesonline.com / Mike Bires
Though he was born with cerebral palsy, Noah Barilaro has always found ways to celebrate life.
He feels fortunate that he’s able to do almost anything he wants even though odds were against him. After he was born, doctors told his parents that their son might never be able to walk or talk … or even live for that matter.
“Miracles happen,” Barilaro said. “God has a vision and a plan for everyone. I was named Noah because of the ark. God saved Noah and the ark.”
Part of Barilaro’s plan as he enters his senior year at Central Valley High School is “to do great things for this football team in any way shape or form.”
Even though it’s been nine years since he last played football in a midget league, Barilaro is playing this year. He first got permission from his parents. He then got permission from coach Mark Lyons.
He’ll wear jersey No. 19 this season as a wide receiver/defensive back for the Warriors. That’s the same number his older brother Ben wore two years ago.
“Kids with cerebral palsy and kids with any disability can do anything they want,” Barilaro said. “You have the power to do it.”
As a sophomore, Barilaro was a member of the football team as a student manager/trainer. He got to experience a 15-1 season when Jordan Whitehead and the Warriors — his brother Ben included — won the WPIAL Class AAA title and advanced to the state championship game.
As a junior, Barilaro played on Central Valley’s golf team and watched the football games in the stands with his friends.
But this year, he wanted to be part of the team again, only this time as a player.
A few months ago, he asked his mother if he could go out for the team.
“Why do you want to play football?” Judy Barilaro said to her son.
“I want to prove to people that kids with disabilities can do anything that normal people can do,” he said.