‘Friends of Christian’ to Raise Money for Area Boy with Epilepsy

Rossey-family“Friends of Christian,” a local non-profit organization, has chosen a family to receive the proceeds raised at their Third Annual Poker Run and Pig Roast set for July 25.

(Photo: This year’s recipient, Thomas Rossey, and his family. Photo courtesy Friends of Christian.)

For the past two years, the organization has raised money through a Poker Run and Pig Roast for a local family who has a chronically or terminally ill child that needs financial assistance.

After receiving several nominations, 10-year-old Thomas Rossey, of Marienville, and his family have been chosen by “Friends of Christian” to receive the proceeds from the event.

“The Rossey’s were – for lack of a better word – exactly what we were looking for,” said Michele Wright, President of ‘Friends of Christian.’ “We really wish we could help everyone but the Rossey’s are a family who has never received any help before.”

The money raised each year is given to the family to help bridge the gaps between what health insurance will pay and care for the child.

Thomas, who will be starting 5th grade at East Forest Elementary School, was diagnosed with Epilepsy when he was just 29 days old.

Over the past year his condition has worsened significantly, requiring frequent trips to Pittsburgh for testing and medical treatment. Thomas also has to have a nurse attend school with him every day to give him medications for his seizures.

“We travel to Pittsburgh a lot for testing,” said Thomas’s mother Christina. “All of the travel and expenses have taken a big toll on our family.”

According to Christina, doctors at Children’s Hospital are trying to pinpoint the area of Thomas’s brain that are causing his seizures. If doctor’s can pinpoint the area responsible, Thomas may be able to have surgery to remove that area of his brain.

Until then, medical expenses from testing, prescriptions, and traveling back and forth to Pittsburgh are piling up on the Rossey family.

“My husband’s entire paychecks have been going to pay for medical expenses associated with Thomas’s condition,” said Christina. “It just seems like we can’t get ahead.”

Thomas’s condition has also caused emotional strain on the family. While Christina is in Pittsburgh with Thomas and her husband is at work the Rossey’s rely on family and friends to help take care of Thomas’s 12-year-old sister.

Christina said she was in shock when Wright informed her that her family had been chosen as this year’s recipient for proceeds from the Poker Run and Pig Roast.

“I’m glad I was sitting down when she told me or I would have fallen over,” said Christina. “No one has ever done anything like this to help my family.”

According to Christina, the money the family receives will all go to relieve some of the financial burden cause by medical and travel expenses.

Registration for this year’s Poker Run will begin at 9:00 a.m. on July 25 at Vinny’s on Main Street in Clarion.

The cost to register is $25.00 per bike which includes one poker hand and meals for both the driver and the passenger.

The final stop in the Poker Run will be at the Wolf’s Den Banquet Center where there will be a pig roast and raffle.

Dinner will include roast pork, two sides, a roll, and a drink.

The pig roast is open to the public and doors will open at 5:00 p.m.

For those who are interested, campsites are available at Wolf’s Camping Resort following the event. To make reservations, call 814-797-1103.

Those who are not able to attend but still wish to donate may do so by mail donations to:

124 King Road
Knox, Pa. 16232

For additional information, visit Friends of Christian on Facebook.

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