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Viewer calls help autistic teen find favorite toy

The touching story of a Fulton family on a desperate search for a rare toy has a happy ending.
EAST SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) - The touching story of a Fulton family on a desperate search for a rare toy has a happy ending.

Alex Familo has autism. A toy police car helped him adapt to transition. When it broke one day recently, the teenager withdrew, physically and emotionally.

He couldn't grasp the idea that the transition toy he relied on to function, couldn't be replaced.

After desperately searching for a replacement, Alex's broken-hearted mother made a plea online. Theresa Familo called friends, family, and the toy manufacturer with no luck.  She then reached out to Newschannel 9.

"Seconds after the news clip from last night ended, my cell phone started ringing," Theresa Familo said.

Calls came from all over the world. But, there were two strangers close to home that could make Alex's simple wish come true.

Luca Schug and Jimmy Murphy offered to donate the police cars from their collections. They met with Alex Saturday afternoon, handing over their toys with pride.

"I knew that it would make him happy to get a car he really needs," said Murphy.

Luca Schug, who is a man of few words, let his grandfather, Jack Kimpel, do most of the talking.

"I can relate to what he's going through. They don't understand," said Murphy with tears in his eyes. "It's hard and he doesn't understand. "But, in time maybe he will."

In 24 hours, so many people stepped forward that Alex now has four of his prized toy police cars, thanks to the kindness of strangers.

A family in Fulton is looking for help finding a rare toy car to help their autistic son.
A family in Fulton is looking for help finding a rare toy car to help their autistic son.
Alex Familo and his toy police car
Alex Familo and his toy police car
Family looking for autistic son’s prized toy 04/20/12

Fulton (WSYR-TV) - A family in Fulton is looking for help finding a rare toy car to help their autistic son.

Since it broke last week, the family is desperately seeking a replacement for the toy. They’ve even posted an emotional video online of the teen trying to cope without the toy.

The Familo family’s challenge is attracting attention from around the world.

In the video, Theresa Familo can be seen trying to explain to her 16-year-old son Alex why they’re having a hard time replacing the toy car that he once took everywhere.

"He isn't just a boy who wants a replacement for his car...he can't function right now because of his car being gone,” Familo said.

The tail light to Alex’s Road Rippers Police Rush and Rescue Car went out last week. Out of frustration, Alex took the car apart until it was irreparable. His family searched ebay and Amazon and even called a toy maker only to find out that the car had not been manufactured since 2009.

"It's really hard. He's my baby. 6 foot, 200 pounds and he wants to get on my lap for comfort and to be consoled,” Familo said.

The family is desperate, so they’re not being picky about the condition of the toy.

“It doesn’t have to be a new car. If it’s dirty, I can clean it,” Familo said. “We’ve just got to find this car.”

Anyone with any information on where the Road Rippers Police Rush and Rescue car can be found should call the Familo family at (315) 278-1821.

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