Christian Cacciaguerra


A free swimming pool? How could that be? There has to be a story behind this. There is. Read on



This is the story about Christian Cacciaguerra of Flanders NJ.
In July 2005, Christian was diagnosed with a rare form of muscular dystrophy called Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It is the most debilitating type, affecting mostly boys. Swimming happens to be the best form of therapy for this disorder. Read on.


September 2010

About a year and a half ago, I was contacted by Christian's uncle, Jerry Lobozzo. We know each other through the music business, as we are both professional musicians. Myself a guitar player, and Jerry a drummer and singer.
Jerry knew that I was in the swimming pool business and he told me the situation concerning Christian's health. He told me swimming provides the best therapy for Christian's condition as it provides stretching of the muscles without resistance.
Water therapy has always been commonly known for rehabilitation from sports injuries, arthritis and other ailments as a no impact type treatment.
Jerry also told me of Christian's parents, Michael and Kathleen, and the sacrifices they have made to accommodate for Christian's condition.
Jerry flat out said, "Christian needs to swim". He asked if there was some way I could help. I said yes.
Since that time, I have been able to assemble my subcontractors, material suppliers and equipment manufacturers to commit to this project- are you ready? FREE OF CHARGE! YES FREE!!

We have also collected monetary donations (see information below on how to donate) to offset any additional costs encountered. We certainly would welcome MORE.
I personally want to thank all of my subcontractors, material suppliers and equipment manufacturers for their help. I will be compiling and posting a list of ALL contributors to this project as I cannot take all the credit. I rely on these companies for our routine projects as well. It would not be fair if I did not include them.

In the past month I have been interviewed by 3 newspapers covering this story. They all asked what made me commit?
I stated a number of reasons. First, I think we should be concentrating on helping people in our local towns and neighborhoods. People that are local to our area/community. We have citizens in this country that need help right now.
Secondly, I am also hoping this will bring awareness to Muscular Dystrophy, especially Duchenne.
Thirdly, I think the swimming pool industry will benefit as people will see that a backyard pool is not only fun, but therapeutic.

Kevin Misley


What will Christian's Pool look like?
It will be a custom gunite pool 18' x 36'. A constant depth of 4' will allow Christian and a therapist and or mom and dad to utilize the entire pool during use.
In Christian's Pool, it begins at a zero depth and slowly descend to the final depth of 4' on a special ramp designed for easy access. There will also be a set of steps adjacent to this special ramp as another point of entry.
A slightly raised hot tub approx 10' x 10' will allow for warm water therapy for Christian to loosen his muscles prior to and after therapy. A dedicated pump to activate therapeutic jets will be an added bonus.

The sanitizing system will be a specially designed type where they will have have reduced maintenance and never need to store traditional chlorine. An special type filter, energy efficient pumps, heater, automatic cleaner and a computerized control system round out the entire system.
The surrounding patio will be composed of smooth concrete for ease of travel.

There will also be a 10' x 20' pool house complete with a full bathroom set up for easy access for Christian and for friends and family.

So where are we now?
Well, Thursday September 2, 2010 we broke ground! A ceremonial "dig" by Christian began the festivities.
It included family, friends, workers and members of the press including 2 TV stations!
It was a gorgeous sunny day-rain free!

Read the latest article in the Mount Olive Chronicle


Read another article in the Community Life Newspaper


What are the next steps?
Bookmark this page. We will be documenting the progress of this project through video and still photos. Scroll Down and see


Magnapool of Australia-yes Australia! is donating their unique mineral sanitizing system for Christian. We feel this natural based system will be very beneficial to Christian's health and well being. Click on the logo for more info



Where to send donations:
Please contact Mystic Pools at: webmaster@mysticpools.com

We will direct you where to send your donations
Thank you in advance!!


See how this job all comes together-and yes there will be a BIG party when we are complete.


Important Links and Information Below

developing drug called Exon Skipping. Christian has a deletion of 48 through 52 so he would need exon 53 to be skipped. Prosensa's site the most advanced pre-clinical programs focus on exon 45, exon 53 and exon 52. It is anticipated that the company will be able to progress these programs into the clinic in the coming years.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is caused by mutations in the DMD gene, mostly deletions of 1 or more exons (~72%) that disrupt the open reading frame of the transcript and prematurely abort the synthesis of the dystrophin protein. Patients with Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) show intermediate to milder phenotypes with mostly longer to normal life expectancies when compared with DMD patients. Here, the mutations in the DMD gene maintain the open reading frame and result in an internally truncated but semi-functional dystrophin. The specific skipping of 1 or more exons flanking the specific deletion in DMD patients allows restoration of the mutated open reading frame, introduction of novel, BMD-like dystrophin, and conversion of a severe DMD into a typically milder BMD phenotype.



ADVOCACY GROUP -  Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) is the largest nonprofit organization in the United States focused entirely on Duchenne. This is their link to the home page - http://www.parentprojectmd.org/site/PageServer?pagename=nws_index

This is a good link to get a quick overview of what duchenne is and how it effects the boys: http://community.parentprojectmd.org/video/1187424:Video:24


Christian's Doctor - Dr. Brenda Wong is Christians doctor. She handles all aspects of Christians care from the complexities of Duchenne (heart problems, breathing issue,etc...) to the day to day care issues. Christian has a primary doctor in Chester NJ named Dr. Gerald Casale but he guided by Dr. Wong on almost all aspects of care. This is Dr. Wongs Profile link: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/svc/find-professional/w/brenda-wong.htm


 Here are some photos of the groundbreaking


Quick shot with mom and dad, Michael and Kathleen

Christian at the controls for the BIG DIG!

Uncle Jerry lends a hand

Uncle Jerry trying to trade a t shirt for a ride on the ATV.
Christian thinking it over. Sorry Uncle J, your too big!

Christian enjoying a slice

Buddies for life

Uncle Jerry, Kevin, Christian, Michael and Kathleen during BIG DIG

T-Shirts to mark the event


Quick update on our progress as of 9/22/10

Since the excavation a lot of things have transpired. A bed of crushed stone was put down on the floor, our hot tub form and ramp form were constructed, we installed our surface skimmers, bottom drains in the pool and the hot tub. Piping was installed in preparation for the hot tubs jets, drains and returns. We will be putting more crushed stone in the hot tub area now that our piping is complete.
We began installing our reinforcement bar in the pool and will continue into the hot tub.
The next step will be 2 inspections and then we can "shoot" concrete to form the structure. You won't want to miss those photos-perhaps the most interesting aspect of the project.

Stick around there will be more!

We have our form boards installed and leveled and we have prepped for our pool and hot tub piping and put down a layer of crushed stone.

A closer look at the piping for the hot tub. It will features 8 therapeutic jets which are the the pipes at the top portion of the form.  We oversize our piping for maximum water delivery resulting in fantastic jet action.
Lots of water will be moving through these jest!

The beginning of the installation of the reinforcement bar (rebar). This reinforces the concrete structure when its shot. The form to the left is for the ramp that also will be reinforced with the rebar.

A different view of the rebar. Notice the surface skimmers prepped.

Another quick update on our progress as of 10/8/10

The day finally arrived after about 5 days of on off rainy, crummy, miserable weather. We managed to complete the rebar and get the pool prepped for gunite. Today was an absolutely beautiful day perfect for shooting concrete! Check out the photos below to how this amazing process brings this whole structure together. Gunite courtesy of Tri-State Gunite of Sloatsburg, NY

Here the rebar is complete and ready for concrete.

Another look from the ramp entry

The gunite being shot in the corner of the pool

Working on the hot tub

The men working on leveling and shaping the hot tub

Entry steps are slowly shaping up

The gunite for the ramp being applied as steps are shaped

Another view of the ramp and entry steps

Gunite complete! We have a structure

Look at those beautiful steps and ramp!

Quick update:

With the pool structure complete, we were able to begin the pool coping. The material for the pool is a large paver stone with an aesthetically pleasing and yet a non-skid finish. We plan to install bluestone for the spa coping made up of large pieces.
The next step will be to install the perimeter water line tile just below the coping stone.

Working hard on filling joints on the stones

All stones set!

Quick update:

We began the excavation for the pool house. When complete, it will finish off at 10' x 20' complete with an ADA bathroom and room for storage.
The pool filtration system will sit directly behind the structure out of sight.

Hugo digging out for footer prep

Nearly completing a perfect dig

Quick update:

The foundation and block work for the pool house is complete! The next step is to run the water and sewer pipes, our gas and electric. Once that's complete, we can begin backfilling and start on the main structure.
The snowy conditions, with more to come, has stalled our progress for now. Have no fear we will move on!
Photos will be posted as soon as we find some snow shoes!


Quick update:

Lots of things happening and major accomplishments in the past 2 weeks! Trenches were dug for the gas, electric, water and sewer lines. All piping has been installed and inspected. The concrete slab for the pool house was formed and poured. The additional concrete pad for the pool equipment was poured at the same time. All necessary plumbing lines were stubbed in the pool house slab for the bathroom. All this work by donation!
All the trenches for the utilities were backfilled and trenching for the pool piping was started. We will now be able set up the pool equipment on the new slab!
Check out the photos below


Gas pipe, sewer and electrical conduit in place

Another shot of the gas pipe and sewer line

Tori and Rudy of M&M Masons prepping for the concrete slab

Little more prepping prior to pouring


Completed concrete slab from the front

Looking at the back of the pool house slab

Ivan working on the trenches in preparation for the pool piping

Quick Update:

Tile work was started around the pool's perimeter. 6"x6" gray tile matches well with the pool coping. The limestone coping was installed. This material is perfect for this setting as the color coordinates with most anything. Because of the stone's natural properties, it's cool to the touch even in the hottest locations. We will be installing glass tile on the face portion of the hot tub just beneath the spillway to give it a great accent. This will make the tub really "pop".

 See the photos below


Mystic Pools owner Kevin Misley applying tile donated by UNITED POOL TILE of East Rutherford, NJ

Tori and Rudy of M&M Mason Contractors installing the limestone coping supplied for FREE  by Mohawk Materials of Sloatsburg, NY

Quick Update:

The pool house has been completed. A beautiful design complete with vinyl siding, windows, double door for great access and a durable roof. All electrical components have been installed as well to provide power for the pool house and the pool filtration system which is completely hidden behind the structure.
Check out the progress photos of the pool house below.

Pool house materials being delivered

Framing under way

Sheathing material going into place

Double door and windows installed. Roofing near completion

Pool house complete with vinyl siding and gutters

Quick Update:

Quite a bit has happened in the last 3 weeks. We completed the installation of the pool equipment and all the necessary piping.
All the electrical and gas requirements are in place.

Aaron Excavating provided FREE site work digging trenches for our piping and then returning to backfill and grade the perimeter.
Thanks to owner Roy Emr for providing the service.

Raymond Pool plastering provided the Hydrazzo Haterras Gray plaster free of charge! His crew worked in the blistering heat for 2 days straight to apply the plaster finish and then return the following day to polish it to a silky smooth texture.
Hats off to Raymond and his crew!

Happie Time Pool Water of Kenvil donated 3 trucks worth of water so we could start the filtration system immediately. Thanks to Holly and her father Seymour for the generous donation.

Next order of business is the concrete pool patio.


Aaron Excavating preparing trenches for the pool piping

Adam of Mystic Pools working on pipe installation


Aaron Excavating grading perimeter following pipe installation


Raymond plastering company applying Hydrazzo finish

Polishing the finish the next day


Many thanks to Raymond for the best plastering around!

Raymond's crew pose for a quick photo with Christian


Happie Time Pool Water donated 18,000 gallons plus of water to fill the pool!

Seymour of Happie Time and Raymond watch as the pool fills


Raymond Jr. holding the hose while the spa fills                                                                                          Raymond, Christian, Raymond Jr. and Seymour

Christian and Raymond Jr relax as the pool fills.
Christian's dad Michael looks on

Christian taking the first swim!




As always, more photos to come as we move along


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