Friends organize fund-raiser for Trumbull teen battling Lyme disease
Friends of the Doug, Maria and Max Wheeler are coming together to organize a fund-raiser for 13 year-old Max, who has had his life put on hold because of Lyme disease.
The event, featuring live music, food and drinks is planned for Sunday, June 2 at Studio 8 in Milford.
Jason Ebert, owner of the Studio 8 venue, started working in the wedding entertainment business more than 20 years ago with Max’s father. Ebert heard about Max’s disease through Facebook and reached out to his friend.
“After a few months of hearing the decline in his health , I reached out to Doug to get the whole story and that was when I realized that in order to keep his son healthy he may lose his retirement or even worse, his home,” Ebert said. “At the same time, I was working with one of my client bride’s who suffers from Chronic Lyme. She said her story was as close to Max’s as you could get. Only she went undiagnosed for 8 years and now has irreversible damage. I couldn't sit by and watch this happen to Max, so I pleaded with Doug and Maria Wheeler to let me help.”
A recent story that ran in the Trumbull Times about Max’s battle rallied many in the community who wanted to find a way to help, according to family friend and Trumbull resident, Natalie Fried. To see the previous story click here. Max and his family spoke to the Times because they wanted to help raise awareness about his condition, which wasn’t diagnosed until he underwent several tests, visited 19 different doctors and experienced months of excruciating pain, the family said. Max’s symptoms stopped him from attending school at Hillcrest, forcing the honors student and baseball player to put his life on hold while he undergoes treatment.
Ebert and Fried said the family was reluctant to let friends organize a fund-raiser to support them, although insurance has denied them three times for coverage of Max’s treatment.
“I just wanted to do anything in my power to show them the fight isn't over and they don’t have to do it alone,” Ebert said. “I am grateful for the impact the Wheelers have had in my life — I only hope I can do the same for them.”
The community fund-raiser for Max is scheduled for Sunday, June 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Studio 8, 215 Pepe's Farm Road, Milford.
The event is called “Jam for Max” and will include live music, DJ's, food and drinks. The organizers are asking for $50 as a suggested donation per adult and kids can come for free.
“We are expecting to have raffles or silent auctions depending on what we can pull together,” Ebert said. “Sponsors would also be huge for raising money.”
Fried, who is helping with the event is looking for anyone interested in donating items or services for the raffle and silent auction. If interested, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organizers have also created a Facebook page a facebook.com/jamformax.