Our brother Tony is 7 years old and 2 1/2 years later he has been waiting for transplant. Tony is need of a stomach & total intestinal transplant and the longer his wait he will also receive liver transplant. He was born with Total Colonic Hirschsprung’s Disease. It affects his digestive tract that doesn’t allow him to eat or go to bathroom as a normal kid would.
Tony has an Ostomy Bag for his waste, G-tube for when he could tolerate feeds thru his stomach and an IV Catheter in his chest for his IV Nutrition because his digestive system can’t handle food due to the disease.
His main hospital, our second home and what will be his new home once transplant commences for the past 7 years has been the Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey, PA. Of Pediatric Surgery, Dr.Cilley and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of Pediatric Transplant Surgery, Dr. Geoffrey Bond has been part of the teams of Dr’s since he was six days old and since he was evaluated for transplant. However, we were told that in order for Tony to get better he would have to have a MAJOR transplant. His surgery will take place once a suitable donor of a child is found, at the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. It will take another child’s life to allow our brother to survive and grow.
The funds we have raised so far, is in a Special Needs Trust that will allow our parents to take care of Tony and us while in Pittsburgh. Tony and our family will have to temporarily re-locate to get Tony better so that he is close to the hospital during his recuperation of possibly 6 to 12 months, until doctors feel confident that Tony will have no complications and will be able to come home. However, it’s all depends on Tony and with the help of many PRAYERS!
Watching our little brother grow up- he is like any other brother, picking on Dominic and I, going thru our things and just messing with us. However, Tony is not like other little kids his age. He can’t go to school, he can’t go or have play dates, no sleep overs, no swimming, no birthday cake or know what it is like to have a full meal without becoming sick or limits, no candy, or ice cream and especially what it is like not to have to carry his backpack which is his means of life support that he has to wear to keep him alive. Once his transplant comes, he will be like “Pinocchio” free of his strings and to be able to become a “REAL-BOY”.
If you are a sibling with a brother or sister who has an illness or a life-threatening one like Tony. Their illness becomes your illness. Both Dominic and I have been there whenever he needs us and when we need him. He taught us something most kids don’t get to witness unless you know someone that is ill, the sense of tolerance, patience, compassion and humility towards life itself and to others who need our help.
He’s our brother and WE NEED YOUR HELP, in helping us help him! I, Vinny (12) created this website to pay tribute to our brother, family and to honor all of the area businesses, contributors, extended family and the public in general for helping us along his journey. We have also added newspaper articles from our local papers and interviews with local news channels about some very Special gifts that were recently given to our family before 2012.
There’s 3 ways YOU can make a donation to Tony by visiting your nearest PNC Bank, clicking the above donate button thru PayPal or if you rather send your donation personally to our family, please take note of the address below. We have a current campaign on the next page titled” Christmas Wish $10 for Tony” of which we kindly ask of you to share with everyone and anyone you know. He’s our brother and we can’t imagine our life without him!
Vinny, Dominic, and Tony Forte