Ricky Palermo was born in 1960 in Batavia New York, his parents are Virginia and Pat and has both a brother and sister, Jim and Patty. Patty has a husband Joe (Fragnito) and a daughter Jamie. Jim has a wife Nancy and two daughters Amy and Annie.
Ricky was enjoying working as a carpenter and spending most of his spare time with the people he enjoys most, his family and friends. In 1981, he and some of his best friends went turkey hunting (as they often did), but were involved in an automobile accident that injured his spinal cord and left him paralyzed from the chest down. There was very little information about spinal injury research until 1985 when Miami Dolphins Hall of Famer Nick Bouniconti's son Marc was injured while playing college football for the Citadel. Shortly after Mark's injury Nick partnered up with Dr. Barth Green as they co-founded, what is known today as the Miami Project to cure paralysis. In 26 years the attitude of curing the spine has gone from almost no hope, to now they are knocking on the door to begin human clinical trials.
For the past 15 years Ricky and his family and friends started a golf tournament to help raise awareness and money to help people with spinal cord injuries. In just 15 years, they have raised and donated over $720,000, not only for research, but to also help people in our community who have suffered a spinal injury. The golf tournament has also involved a soccer and basketball clinic for the younger generations who are most at risk for a spinal injury and are thrilled to be adding lacrosse to our cause.
Growing up, Ricky followed in the footsteps of his older brother Jim who was also a 3 sport athlete at Byron Bergen Central school where he and Jim played soccer/basketball /baseball and in doing so, they join only one other athlete from Byron Bergen who has ever received both the Athlete of the year award and MVP of all 3 sports in their senior year.
Ricky is an avid sports fan and especially enjoys watching high school sports, but on opening day of deer season you can probably find him up in a tree stand in which his buddies have modified for him.
Come and help him change history!