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Fundraiser to help girl, 9, battling rare, incurable disease

2.2 from 4 votes
Friday, November 19, 2010

BRISTOL -- Almost all her young life, Brooke Lowe has been fighting a rare and dangerous illness that severely restricts her diet and often sends her to the hospital.

This year, said her mother, Shelley Lowe, was a comparably easy one, with just seven hospital stays — not counting emergency visits.

But during one of those visits, she spent weeks at Children’s Medical Center in Boston, where she was in a coma for a time.

“She has a life-threatening illness,” said Shelley Lowe. “We almost lost her several times.”

Because the family is shouldering so many medical bills, Brooke’s father along with Bill Ogonowski, her cousin, Jason Newton and other family and friends have organized a fundraiser Saturday at the Polish American Club on North Main Street.

Her mother sees Brooke as a walking miracle.

“We’re so thankful to have her,” she said.

Doctors diagnosed the girl at 14 months of age with ornithine transcarbamalase, which her mother said means Brooke’s body can’t break down proteins.

Instead, ammonia forms in the bloodstream, which can cause damage or even death.

“There’s no cure,” said Lowe.

For that reason, Brooke is on a strict diet, must take a lot of medicine and endure blood tests nearly every day.

Despite her health struggles, Brooke, a 9-year-old fourth-grade student at Stafford School, is in many ways a typical kid.

She enjoys playing soccer and reading.

She misses a lot of school but wants to be there whenever she can.

She loves to sing and dance, her mother said, especially to the songs of pop stars Hannah Montana and Justin Bieber and the hit show “High School Musical.”

She’s the oldest of the four Lowe children, and her mother said she loves playing with her sisters, seven-year-old Zoe and five-year-old Lillie. Stone, their 18-month-old brother, is also part of the fun.

While Shelley Lowe stays home with the children, her husband James Lowe is a firefighter in Middletown.

The family attends both Bristol Bible Chapel and Grace Baptist Church.

Saturday’s event at the Polish Club starts at 3 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m.

In addition to a buffet meal, Lowe said organizers have come up with great prizes for the raffles Saturday, including a fishing trip, tickets to concerts and sports events, lessons for dance, horseback riding and golf, trips to a spa and hair salon and more.

There will be a special prize for anyone with a “Brooke Buddy” bracelet, which will also be sold at the event.

There will be face painting and balloon animals for children at the Polish Club event.

Tickets to the fundraiser are $20, with children under 10 getting in free.

They’re available at the door.

Any other donations can be made to the Brooke Lowe Benefit Fund at Webster Bank, 647 Farmington Ave. Bristol, CT 06010.


© Copyright 2010 The Bristol Press

Author: By Jackie Majerus
Source: The Bristol Press
2.2 from 4 votes
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