Benefit set for 8-year-old with rare disease
September 19, 2013 8:04PM
A fundraiser to help defray medical costs for the family of an 8-year-boy battling a rare disease will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday at 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park.
Brett Wilkens was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis when he was 2. With the disease, a type of white blood cell builds up in the esophagus as a reaction to foods, allergens or acid reflux, leading to inflammation of or injury to the esophageal tissue, according to mayoclinic.org.
Eating sets off intense pain, vomiting, acid reflux and choking for Brett, according to a news release about the benefit.
Brett is the oldest son of Michelle and Ken Wilkens, a firefighter in both Riverdale and Crete.
Brett has been on medication and has used a feeding tube and now is treated with steroids but recently has begun to have lower abdominal pains, and doctors believe the disease has extended deeper into his gastrointestinal tract, the release said.
Tickets for the fundraiser are $35 and can be bought by visiting BenefitforBrett.com or at the door.
For benefit information, contact Cindy Jelley at (708) 473-2035 or Annette Jelley at (708) 712-7575 or visit www.benefitforbrett.com.
Monetary donations can be made at any Archer Bank, reference Benefit for Brett, or at BenefitforBrett.com.