Marianna and Robert joined the YMCA In October 2009. Marianna was just 6-years-old. Robert thought it was a good idea for her to learn to swim so he signed Marianna up for private swim lessons.
Marianna thought differently, and on her first day in lessons, she clung to the ladder and screamed the whole time. Marianna's instructor struggled just to get her into the water, but finally coaxed her into the pool and then off the ladder, and treading water. Once she actually got in the water, she flourished and is now a member of the Sharks swim team.
Robert brought Marianna to the YMCA and even took swim lessons himself to support Marianna. He swims while Marianna practices with the swim team. Although Marianna clearly meant the world to Robert, he seemed void any practical knowledge of how to raise a girl and sought advice from staff on how to get Marianna active, make friends, and even asked for consultation on women's issues.