WHY YOUR GIFT IS SO IMPORTANT!
"Family is not an important thing, it's EVERYTHING.”
- Michael J. Fox
Thank You for your interest in helping and learning about our AMAZING and INSPIRING little brother!
Our goal, as his big brother's is to raise funds that the Dr's from Pittsburgh told our family will need to raise for Tony.
OUR FAMILY NEEDS YOUR HELP ! And TONY NEED's YOU!
Our brother Tony is 11 years old . 6 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 wears an Ostomy Bag for his waste, a G Tube for when he could tolerate feeds thru his stomach and a IV Cath in his chest for his IV Nutrition because his digestive system can't handle food due to the disease.
However, we were told that in order for Tony to get better he would have to have a MAJOR transplant. It will take another child's life to allow our brother to survive and grow.
In October 2009 Tony was evaluated at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh for a multi-visceral transplant. After visiting the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio in May of 2010 for a motility study, it was determined that Tony would benefit from an abdominal transplant of stomach, small & large intestine and liver transplant. On June 28th, 2010 Tony became officially listed with the UNOS (United Network of Organ Sharing) national wait list for Pittsburgh. As we waited on the list in Pittsburgh,we also researched other prominent hospitals and specialists who might help Tony. We have researched the Wake Forest University under the hands of Dr. Anthony Atala with the possibility of artificial organs which is still promising on the horizon. In the past two years we have looked at other transplant centers where statistics and surgical outcomes are better.However,with medicaid being Tony's primary insurance we were unable to visit other transplant centers due to the fact that Pittsburgh was in PA and was the preferred vendor with Medicaid in the state.
In January of 2015 our Dad became officially hired with his employer and we have insurance that became primary for Tony with Medicaid becoming secondary. With the insurance company now being primary, they were very pro-active in Tony's care helping us seek other transplant centers. With a list of twelve centers for us to visit , we asked for the Top 3 which were the Miami Transplant Institute, Duke University and Georgetown University.
In May 2015 we travelled to the Miami Transplant Institute in Miami, Florida to start the evaluation process for their center. We also travelled to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to help with the evaluation process as well.During the evaluation the team noticed that Tony will also need a pancreas With another visit to the Miami Transplant Center in July, Tony was officially listed on August 7th, 2015 with the Miami Transplant Institute. All of his wait time and medical care has been transferred to their center.
On November 18th and 19th, 2015 Tony had another appointment with the transplant team. They have now paired him with another little boy about the same age/weight/height and blood type in hopes of having Tony transplanted sooner . We have a tentative appointment scheduled for February, however with this other boy sick, the call for both of them could come very quickly. We ask that you kindly keep the family who will make one of the toughest and sincere decisions in their lives and that will be allowing our brother and this other little boy to live on through the loss of their child.
The funds we have raised so far, is in a Special Needs Trust through PNC Bank that will aid his lengthy recuperation, medical related expenses or possible listment at another transplant center. 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, its 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. And that is the sense of tolerance, patience, compassion and humility towards life itself, to those who are sick and what toll it takes not just the family member who is enduring the illness, but that family as well and to others who are in need and need our help.
He's our brother and WE NEED YOUR HELP, in helping us help him! I, Vinny (15) and Dominic (13) 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.
There is not a day that goes by that we don't think about our community and those who have helped our family. It truly takes a village and we are so blessed and grateful that we aren't alone in the process. THANK YOU ALL for your willingness to help. We truly love you all and wish you all the very best!
Much love and blessings,
Vinny and Dominic Forte
THANK YOU ! Vinny & Dominic Forte
(717) 560-3610 or (717) 847-7654 The Forte Family
Tax Deductible Donations can be sent to :
Antonio Forte Transplant Fund Trust
c/o Monica Forte
2131 Fruitville Pike
Lancaster, Pa 17601 or
can be made at any PNC BANK Branch
(Federal Tax ID# 27-6763548)
NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We also have Facebook Pages "Tony's Helper's", "Tony's Challenge" & " Antonio Forte Transplant Fund Trust" . PLEASE MAKE NOTE! You can also find Tony on TWITTER @4tonyschallenge.