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Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Charitable group helps with kids’ medical costs

Tags: Health
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Aaron Maresky and his mom, Mandy, co-founders of Aaron’s Apple.

Aaron’s Apple, a charitable organization started by a child to help other children, funds the high costs of medication and treatment for families whose children suffer from chronic illnesses.

At the age of seven, Aaron Maresky was determined to make a difference in the lives of other children, while simultaneously battling his own chronic illness.

“I was taken to the hospital with terrible stomachaches, and I stayed in the hospital for two weeks,” Aaron, now 11, said. “I had many, many needles and tubes put everywhere. Sometimes I was really sore and it was very scary. I missed three months of school and I lost 30 pounds. 

“The doctors told my parents that I had Crohn’s disease, and I would require a very special medicine given to me by infusion every six to eight weeks. My medicine costs more than $40,000 every year,” explained Aaron, co-founder of Aaron’s Apple.

For many children suffering from chronic conditions such as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and pediatric cancer, the only option to ease their suffering comes in the form of high-priced medical treatments. Aaron’s family had a plan that covered his medication, but he recognized the harsh reality that not everyone was so fortunate, and that many parents had no choice but to stand by helplessly and watch their child suffer.

“Every time Aaron went to the hospital, he would give a donation, in efforts to help make another child feel better.  From this grew the charity called Aaron’s Apple,” said Aaron’s mother, Mandy Maresky, co-founder of the charity.

Aaron’s Apple will host its second annual Caring to the Core Gala on March 2, at The Warehouse Event Venue in Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hill Rd., where guests will enjoy New York-inspired cuisine and entertainment, including celebrity appearances and a silent auction.

“Aaron’s Apple’s tag line is, ‘Take a bite and change a life.’ New York is also known as the Big Apple. We want people to ‘Take a bite out of the Big Apple’ and change a life,” Mandy said.

The charity is run solely by volunteers and works with the Hospital for Sick Children. “Everyone involved is dedicated to helping as many children and families as possible. Aaron’s Apple has recently been approached by physicians of children suffering with cancer to assist with the costs of their chemotherapy treatments,” Mandy said.

Having raised more than $220,000 to date, Aaron’s Apple continues to help families cope with overwhelming medical costs. The inability to afford the required treatment for their child places enormous stress on them.

To purchase tickets for the gala, go to caringtothecore.com.

For more information about Aaron’s Apple, go to www.aaronsapple.com.

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