SADDLE BROOK, N.J. -- The bond between a grandson and his grandmother has only gotten stronger through adversity. And while TJ Sullivan said he wishes his grandmother -- who he refers to as "Mommom" -- had never gotten ill, he also truly cherishes his time with her and is doing all he can to make sure she gets better.
It's why the Saddle Brook resident has, for three years running, created an annual community fundraiser and a GoFundMe page devoted to Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).
PKD, a common inherited disorder, occurs when clusters of cysts develop primarily on or around the kidneys. This can lead to other medical issues such as aneurysms, high blood pressure, and kidney failure. It can also lead to a transplant, which his grandmother -- real name Theresa LaBarck -- will eventually need.
"Mommom continuously battles her illness with a determination to overcome it.'
"Do It For Mommom, our crowdfunding site, was born out of a desire to raise money for the transplant my grandmother will need to face in the future," explained Sullivan.
"This is also an exciting time for the PKD Foundation, which relies on the generosity and support from its advocates, as five potential treatments are in clinical trials, and awareness, education, and patient support are at an all time high."
His fundraiser, "Believe In a Cure," is set for December 9 at the Knights of Columbus in Ridgefield Park. There will be live performances by DJ AFINO & Marty Rotella, red-carpet photographs, a spaghetti and meatball dinner, and more.
"We have some really fun stuff planned for this year's fundraiser, but at the heart of all the fun comes an increased desire to eradicate the disease that runs in my bloodline, and millions of others," said Sullivan.
"I so appreciate the love and support I've gotten thus far from people all over the place and hope folks will come out to support us again."
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