Ric was born with a very rare metabolic liver disease known as Crigler-Najjar. The New York Times once reported no more than 150 people in the world have this disease. Daily he requires photo-therapy to make-up for the lack of an enzyme missing in his body to break-down bilirubin, a by-product of red blood cells when they wear-out. People with Crigler-Najjar are in constant danger of an acute metabolic imbalance. A single severe episode results in brain damaging Kernicterus causing permanent physical and mental disablement for the rest of one’s life. In this regard, he has been most fortunate to date.
It was not until Ric was thirteen that he and his family found a physician with the expertise and actual medical patients that had his illness, the Clinic for Special Children in Lancaster County, PA (www.clinicforspecialchildre... ). Since that time he and his family have closely bonded with about a dozen children and young adults with Crigler-Najjar and their families.
In all seventy patients with rare metabolic liver diseases, including 10 with Ric’s illness, have been successfully transplanted at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital where Ric has been recently accepted and listed for a liver transplant. All are patients referred by the Clinic for Special Children.
Since he was 10 years old, Ric has been plagued with extreme fatigue issues and irregular sleep patterns. He was home-bound schooled during his middle and high school years as a result.
As a young adult, it took him 12 years to obtain his Bachelor degree in Business Administration which he received in December 2014 from the University of North Florida. It was not until graduating and attempting to enter the work-force full-time that he found how difficult it was for him to work a full-time schedule with his medical condition.
At 31, Ric recently put on hold his goal to use his recent college degree to start a new career in hopes that a needed liver transplant will offer him a chance to live a more normal life. This is a major life changing decision for Ric but he greatly needs financial assistance from those who care.
It is fortunate that he does have good medical insurance. But unfortunately neither he nor his parents have the funds to cover the many other expenses associated with a liver transplant that are routinely not covered by health insurance – deductibles / co-pays, medications, travel expenses from across the country and relocation fees for long-term rehabilitation are a few examples.
Your support is vital to the overall success of Ric’s struggle and latest challenge. Please know that your contribution counts. Per HelpHOPELive policy Ric and his family will never know how much you gave but will know that you cared enough to contribute to help him in this time of great need. On behalf of Ric and his family, we thank you in advance of your kind consideration.