Disabled Livingston boy achieving dream of starring in play

LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - One East Texas boy's dreams of being an actor will come true Valentine's Day. Five-year-old Simon Ramber of Livingston will be playing the role of Cupid.

Simon Ramber was born prematurely at 31 weeks weighing an amazing 10 pounds and was 21 inches long at birth, and doctors said he would only live to be the age of a late teen or early adult.

"Simon pushes past pain every day," Julie Ramber, Simon's mother, said. "He has Morquio Syndrome, which is very rare. His spinal structure is such that it causes dwarfism."

Simon may only be 36 inches tall but his passion for acting is larger than life.

Last month his mother wrote "Cupid is a Gangster." She assigned her son to the role of Cupid.

"Simon attached himself to this play immediately," Julie Ramber said. "He was just going around saying, 'I'm going to shoot you and make you fall in love.'"

The play is about a hate crime which causes Cupid's death.

"Inspiration and hope brings Cupid back to life," Julie Ramber said. "The kids that participate are just dying to have something that they can hold on to, something that's inspirational."

Julie Ramber's inspiration to help kids with disabilities live out their creativity and dreams comes from her daughter's death. The then 9-year-old had the same rare syndrome Simon lives with.

"My daughter Victoria whom everyone in this area loved died in 2009 after having a surgery, and it was very tragic," Julie Ramber said.

After her oldest child's death she started jewlkids.com; a non-profit organization to help other disabled children.

"Jewlskids.com was built as a resource for disabled kids and their families. It's so they can find their own doctor and the right specialist that would take care of disabled kids," Julie Ramber said. "If they needed to take an autism test, they were able to find one online with assistance from the site or if they needed a psychologist or therapy, they could do so at jewlskids.com."

The site helped parents access the right sources. Children were able to display their talents on the site and share their inspiring stories. Due to lack of funds, site has been down for several months. Ramber hopes some of the proceeds from "Cupid is a Gangster" will help get the site back up and running.

"We at jewslkids.com are trying to get the kids involved in something special. There isn't a whole lot of activities for disabled kids around here," Julie Ramber said.

Ramber knows first hand how important the site is as a single mother to three children who each live with disabilities. Simon is her youngest child but says he doesn't see his disability as a set back.

"He makes himself extremely likeable because he cares about other people," Julie Ramber said. "Simon cares more about other people than he even cares about himself, and that's what makes Simon special."

Ramber will be performing in "Cupid is a Gangster" tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the upper ballroom at Buster McNutty's in Livingston.

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