Emily Progin, PR and Communications Coordinator
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AURORA 20-YEAR-OLD NEEDS HELP AND HOPE TO LIVE WITH RARE ILLNESS
Community Rallying to Support Caliph Kellogg in His Quest for Health and Happiness
AURORA, Ill.—Though he is just 20 years old, Caliph Kellogg of Aurora is no stranger to challenges and trials. Caliph is living with the rare illness Cowden’s Syndrome, which leads to frequent pain, multiple surgeries, and ongoing mobility challenges. “Team Kellogg” is partnering with the nonprofit Help Hope Live to find hope in a time of overwhelming need as they fundraise for critical medical costs not covered by insurance.
Caliph started showing signs of the rare illness as early as age two, but Cowden’s Syndrome is notoriously difficult to diagnose. As a result, Caliph wasn’t formally diagnosed until age 19—just last year.
While it affects each patient differently, typically, the diagnosis increases cancer risk and produces benign fatty tumors in the body. In Caliph’s case, Cowden’s Syndrome causes limb overgrowth and other bodily malformations. He has experienced more than 30 surgeries to remove benign tumors, and he lives with near-constant chronic pain. He cannot walk independently, relying instead on a motorized scooter or wheelchair for mobility. These challenges are likely to continue or get worse as Caliph gets older.
With these mobility challenges and the daily threat of chronic pain, Caliph struggles to engage and socialize like other young adults his age. “His life is extremely limited,” explained family members. “but he is not alone: he has Team Kellogg, our support network of family and friends. His twin brother, Calid, is one of his biggest supporters.”
Caliph and his family have lived in Aurora since 2012. Beyond his health challenges, he has passions and goals like any other 20-year-old: he loves video and music production, gaming, drawing, watching movies, and spending time with his family. His dream is to attend trade school to become a barber and learn coding and sign language.
To bring a healthier, brighter future within reach for Caliph, Team Kellogg is rallying his community of support to help raise urgently needed funds. Insurance does not fully cover the immense costs associated with his ongoing treatments, surgeries, hospitalizations, and home health needs. They’ve partnered with the national medical fundraising nonprofit Help Hope Live.
Tax-deductible donations can be made at: https://helphopelive.org/campaign/19992/
The generous community has already raised over $7,000 towards Team Kellogg’s goal. Caliph’s medical and financial need are verified by the nonprofit, and funds raised can only be used to cover verified medical and related expenses. Funds raised won’t jeopardize Caliph’s eligibility for critical state-based benefits.
Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in secure, tax-deductible fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $165 million to pay patient expenses. ###Written by Emily Progin