Terminally Ill Son Ignites A Crowdfunding Campaign For His Final Journey

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Mario Toranzo is fighting the clock and raising funds to take his Mom to New York City for his last Mother’s Day

Mario Toranzo is not your average 20-year old. Mario suffers from Leigh Syndrome, a severe neurological disorder that affects 1 in every 40,000 newborns. This condition is characterized by progressive loss of mental and movement abilities (psychomotor regression), which typically results in death within the first 10 years of life, usually by respiratory failure. With Mother's Day quickly approaching and the clock ticking Mario has big dreams to travel to New York City before it's too late. Crowdfunding has become widely popular for unique fundraising opportunities. For the Toranzo family this is the only way to raise the funds for Mario's final journey.

With amazing doctors and support from his community Mario has been able to beat the odds and live 10 years past his life expectancy. On his spare time he enjoys listening to Pitbull for inspiration and watching the movie Home Alone. His goal is to travel to New York City like the character in Home Alone. Mario dreams about exploring discovering and being greeted by a doorman. Because of Mario’s fascination with New York his mom IIeana decided to assist him in starting a gofundme fundraising website (http://www.gofundme.com/lap6oc). The family's goal is to raise $150,000 to help Mario and his Mom take their last trip together. They’ve managed to raise $5000 and still have a long way to go in a short amount of time. This money will help pay the team of doctors and additional medical equipment that is necessary for this trip.

When Mario was born, he was misdiagnosed several times when he was a baby. IIeana Toranzo noticed that her son was developing slower in every aspect of a child’s growth, from walking to standing to speaking. Doctor’s knew early on that Mario had an extremely difficult road ahead and that his quality of life would be cut short. IIeana had now become a single mom with one income supporting a special needs child. “My goal was to provide a normal living environment for my son, “says IIeana. “My husband left and I was now faced with the toughest decision of my life – raising a child that will be leaving this earth before me. And doing so, with a smile on my face.”

Mario’s condition has worsened in the past two years with doctors stating that “Now is when he is stable enough to travel. We cannot guarantee this will be the case for much longer". IIeana had no choice but to leave the workforce due to the mandatory around the clock care that her son needs. With medical bills piling up, a foreclosure looming and her son’s death slowly approaching she still manages to keep a smile on her face. “When I see him happy, that makes me smile. All Mario talks about is visiting New York City and what an amazing gift that would be, “says IIeana. “Instead of my son worrying about his last days – he’s rallying the troops to make sure that one or both of us gets to experience New York City and stay at hotel with a doorman. To me, that’s just remarkable.”

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Teana McDonald

Naydine Smith
@3EConnections
since: 03/2009
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