Benefit raises funds for boy with rare illness
By Carley Dangonacarley@thereminder.com
WESTFIELD On Sept. 8 at the Skybox Sports Bar & Grill in Southwick from 2 to 7 p.m., the Bray family of Westfield will host "Fresh Start for Logan," a fundraising benefit for Logan Bray, a baby diagnosed with the rare Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD).
"We're trying to raise funds for the family," Mary Bray, Logan's aunt, said. "Children who are sick this young it is a great strain on the family financially, emotionally and physically. There's only so much a family can do."
Bray was admitted to Baystate Children's Hospital in Springfield when he fell ill, and was recently moved to Boston Children's Hospital (BCH). Mary stated, "All he knows at this point is the hospital. We are fortunate that we have a state with Baystate and access to Children's Miracle Network (CMN) [assistance]."
Jenn Kaczenski, associate director for CMN Hospital (CMNH) Programs at BCH, explained how the organization assists BCH patients, "The support we receive from the CMNH sponsors in our territory benefits the children's fund an unrestricted fund that supports broad use of patient care, research, education and community initiatives at Boston Children's. Our CMNH funding supports the hospital at large from Child Life to gaps in research funding."
Mary explained the beginnings of Logan's illness, "He was six weeks old and got really sick one day. Within one week we were getting calls telling us to come and say our last goodbyes."
Dr. Mary-Alice Abbott, Ph.D., chief of Medical Genetics at Baystate, defined CGD.
"Generally, it's an immunodeficiency one is born with. It is autosomal recessive [silent in parents] and therefore, there is usually no family history of CGD. The cells that protect the body from bacteria and fungi don't function properly, making the body vulnerable to infection. The body can't fight infections and abnormal inflammations, called granulomas, can develop. CGD patients develop severe and recurrent infections," she said.
Abbott explained CGD treatment, "The goal is to try to prevent [the infections] with antifungal and antibacterial medicines. Careful food handling and hand washing are also helpful. One known cure is the transplant of blood cells but treatment depends on the severity of the case."
Logan will be four months old on Sept. 15. "He's doing well, despite the medical complications," Mary stated. "Right now the doctors are monitoring his treatment. In about another month, we should whether Logan will be moved back to Baystate, or if he can come home."
Tickets for the benefit cost $20 and the event is family-friendly and open to the public. Logan's mother Shauna Martin and older brother Cole will be in attendance, in addition to other family members and friends.
In addition to food and beverages served, a raffle for a gift basket of $50 worth of car supplies donated from AutoZone in Westfield and a door prize of a photography session with Erika Chrystal Photography, also of Westfield, will be included.
For further information about the event, contact Mary Bray at 209-0677. If unable to attend, residents can submit donations at The Summer House in Southwick or at AutoZone in Westfield in the collection jars.
For more information on Baystate Children's Hospital, visit http://baystatechildrens.org
. For additional information about Boston Children's Hospital, go to www.childrenshospital.org
. To learn more about the Children's Miracle Network, visit http://cmnwi.org