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Hurtful oversight leads to celebration for Mays Landing man

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Angela Brooks Pittman has always fought for her son. Mikey Pittman has cerebral palsy, is developmentally delayed and is legally blind. His prognosis 26 years ago wasn’t good. His mother was even told to say goodbye to him at 2 months old when his stomach ruptured. “He’s not supposed to be here,” the Atlantic City native says. Her husband eventually left, unable to handle the demands of a special needs child. But Mikey is here and has thrived, says his proud mom. He went through the Atlantic County Special Services School and graduated at 22. Because the Mays Landing man was a member of the Greater Egg Harbor School District, he was even able to walk at Oakcrest High School’s graduation in 2014, the same year younger sister Essence Pittman graduated. As a Special Olympian for 15 years, Mikey has collected numerous medals in track and field, and bowling. This week, he got dressed up and put on all those medals to attend a special annual dinner with his mom. He was to get two awards, including a Senate Certificate of Special Recognition. But an oversight led to his name not being on the list. Always his staunchest supporter, his mother left the dinner unable to watch her son’s name not be called and took to social media to make sure her son who has fought his whole life could be honored the right way.
“He’s just the best behaved kid,” his mom says. “I love him to death. I go hard for him.” Now, a celebration is in the works. “Mikey’s sister and I will be doing a Special Presentation for Mikey,” Pittman wrote. “We will get dressed up, he will wear his medals and WE WILL have a fabulous meal. Anyone wishing to join us inbox me or reply to this status.” Essence Pittman, who just graduated Montclair University with a degree in psychology inspired by her brother, reports the outpouring has been overwhelming. It included her friends coming up with the hashtag #WeGotYouMikey followed by a yellow heart, a happy coincidence since it’s her brother’s favorite color, she wrote. “When you have a special needs child and they make these different milestones and achievements, you want to honor it,” Pittman said. “He’s a kid they said would never walk, and this kid runs. He has overcome all these challenges.” So his mother and sister are taking on the challenge to honor him. Anyone who wants to participate can message Pittman on Facebook.

Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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