Boy suffering from disease gets special Christmas present
An 8-year-old from Belleville had a Christmas wish come true Tuesday tonight after his living room was transformed to look like Christmas morning.
Dominic Grasso suffers from a rare kidney disease called nephrotic syndrome and has been having a tough time since experiencing a relapse. There is no cure for the disease.
"The kidneys get scarred, the filter is scarred, which allows the protein to slip through," says Dominic's mom, Brandie Tortorelli. "That's what causes the swelling."
Dominic gained 20 pounds in the last relapse due to water weight.
The swelling causes pain, and Dominic can only wear sweatpants. Once a month, he has to go to St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston.
"They check him for cholesterol, protein in his blood," says Brandi.
That's where another mom, Linda Kavan, comes in.
Linda also has a son, Charlie, who beat kidney disease. She's been counseling Brandie for two years through Facebook.
Linda brought over a van full of teenagers to turn the house into a Winter Wonderland with one goal in mind.
"To make Dom feel really really special," says Linda. "He's a kid who has been through an awful lot. And we want to be able to teach these kids that it's super easy to help people."
Dominic was especially happy after finding the sack full of presents.
Linda is calling her effort to help others "Deck and Dash." It's the first time she has done it and plans on helping other families in the same way.