Benefit set for girl who ‘is an inspiration for others’
BY GINGER BRASHINGER Correspondent July 7, 2014 4:04PM
Sarah Romy, 15, is pictured with her father Darren Romy. Sarah underwent a liver transplant in June because of the progression of a degenerative liver disease that was diagnosed in 2009. Family members are holding a fundraiser July 13 at 115 Bourbon Street to help with medical costs. | Supplied photo
If you go ...
What: A Liver for Sarah
Where: 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park
When: 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday
Etc.: Admission is $25 for age 21 and older ($30 at the door); $15 for ages 6 to 20 ($20 at the door).
Information: Call (815) 955-1275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Updated: August 9, 2014 6:10AM
Sarah Romy’s family thought a liver transplant that the 15-year-old inevitably would need was years down the road.
The teenager was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease/ulcerative colitis as a 4-year-old. Then, in 2009, she also was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a degenerative liver disease.
Sarah’s aunt, Kelly Renzi, of Joliet, said her niece is no stranger to medications and hospitalizations, which often have been a part of her life. But the family always hoped Sarah’s condition could be controlled with diet and medication or that new medical treatments might completely eliminate the need for a transplant.
But when Sarah’s liver condition worsened in early March, Lisa Romy, Sarah’s mother, told the family Sarah had been put on the transplant list.
Although the need was not considered urgent at that time, Renzi said, “It became urgent. ... We were all very shocked, scared and worried for her. We never thought it would happen so quickly.”
Renzi, her sister-in-law, Mary Murray; and Sarah’s grandmother, Ginger Murray, coordinated a fundraiser, “A Liver for Sarah,” to help offset the medical costs the family will face to meet the long-term needs of a transplant patient.
The fundraiser is scheduled for 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday at 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park.
The event will include live music by The Smiley Tillmon Band, a silent auction, raffle items and a 50/50 raffle, Renzi said.
Silent auction items include an autographed Jonathan Toews Blackhawks jersey, an autographed Patrick Sharp Blackhawks hockey puck, tickets to Cubs, White Sox and Blackhawks games and a birthday party at a local arcade, among other items.
Renzi said there are about 30 raffle items, including kids toys and entertainment, wine baskets, camping supplies, restaurant gift certificates and cookware. She said donations for the raffles and silent auction will be accepted “right up until the morning of the event.”
A special raffle for a one-half carat diamond from Daniel’s Jewelers, an online jewelry store, also will be held. Renzi said everyone who buys a raffle ticket for the diamond will receive a pair of cubic zirconia earrings.
Kenzi said Sarah, who underwent her liver transplant in June, is recuperating and “so far everything looks good,” but Sarah has years of antirejection medication and care ahead of her.
But Kenzi considers her niece an “amazing child” who will just keep rising to life’s challenges.
“She’s got so many different talents and she is really a very persevering and resilient child,” Kenzi said.
Sarah’s family is hoping the community of friends who have supported Sarah with their prayers and well wishes will attend the benefit and “see Sarah’s transformation, to see how she is getting through this and being strong about it,” Kenzi said. “She is an inspiration for others.”