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Waiting on a friend

November 21, 2013

Jacob Matarese of Coventry, who was born with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Noonan Syndrome, collected food for animals in 2012. Now, he's trying to raise money for a service dog of his own to help him sleep at night and settle him during transitions. File Photo.

COVENTRY— The Matarese family of Coventry has begun to work hard to raise money to help their son, Jacob, after he’s made it his priority since he was young to help other people.

Jacob, 11, is described by his mother Tara as a “caring, sensitive and funny” boy who loves music, legos, movies and video games.

“He unassumingly commands a presence from people that almost always causes them to instantly fall in love with him,” he said.

Jacob, who started fundraising at an early age, has raised money for the Special Olympics, The American Heart Association and the local animal shelter.

“People have seen his face before but it’s always been for what he’s done for other people, now this is something he needs and my hope is people will say ‘let’s help this kid out,’” said Tara.

The Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School student was born with a variety of disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorder and Noonan Syndrome. These disorders, his mother said, impact his life and make some daily tasks difficult.

According to his mother, “any type of transition or routine disruption proves to be traumatic for him both emotionally and mentally.”
Because of this, his parents decided to find a way to help their son improve his daily life.

Through a non-profit organization called 4 Paws for Ability, Jacob could receive a service dog that would provide him with emotional support.

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