Swinerton In the News

Swinerton Builders: August 19, 2014

Toddler With Cancer Gets to be Foreman For a Day in SF

Remember Batkid? How could we forget, right? It was an elaborate production that mesmerized not only a city, but also a nation. In San Francisco on Tuesday, a smaller but just as effective version took place.

If you visit a construction site and get up close and personal, you'll see it's no place for kids.

But if you believe in rules, then it also goes without saying that they're also made to be broken.

Case in point -- 3-year-old Renzo Lombardi from Seaside, who said he wanted to be a foreman.

When asked how much time it took to decide to let little Renzo visit his construction site, developer Angelo Sangiacomo said, "Not even a second, I said absolutely yes."

Sangiacomo's 2,000 unit apartment building is going up in San Francisco. It was a perfect target for Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area Executive Director Patricia Wilson, who'd been on the lookout for a place just like it.

"I'm a matchmaker," she said "You know, I'm looking at people who want to do good and I take kids who are sick and battling something very adult and I put them together."

So, in the spirit of Batkid and thousands of others, the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation struck again.

This time it was for Renzo, who has always loved construction and construction sites, even in a hospital after surgery and 20 weeks of chemo for kidney cancer.

"He stared out the window at the construction going on at the hospital the entire time," said the toddler's father, Vince Lombardi. "This, I would not have imagined."

On Tuesday, the somewhat shy little boy was wide-eyed and hands on all around the site. Mike Duran served as tour guide.

Duran: "So, Renzo is here today and he is the jobs site superintendent for the day."
Freedman: "When is the last time you took orders from a 3-year-old?"
Duran: "When my sons were younger."

In a way, everyone there felt younger. Except maybe for Renzo, who felt all grownup. And that was one of the goals, right? A lifetime experience?

"It is just nice to see him enjoy himself," Lombardi said. "I'm trying to figure out how to keep up with this for the rest of his life."

And hopefully, after all that treatment, they're expecting a long one.

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