The storms of 2011 pale in comparison to the devastation that Sandy brought to the tri-state area recently. But for one Ridgefield family, this year’s hurricane did not bring the fear that last year’s storms did.
This year, thanks to the Molly Ann Tango Memorial Foundation, Cubby Wax and his mom, Laura, were able to ride out the storm, knowing they would not lose the power that they need to keep Cubby alive.
Cubby is just one of many area special-needs children who have been helped by the foundation, which benefits from the annual production of Nuts About the Nutcracker, scheduled for this Saturday.
Cubby, a bright, funny 13-year-old boy, was born with SMA Type 1, a neuromuscular disease characterized by muscle weakness due to the loss of motor neurons of the spinal cord and brainstem.
He has a tracheotomy for breathing that requires continuous suctioning, tube feedings for nutrition, oxygenation monitoring, a power lift and wheelchair, and full-time nursing care. It’s a 24-hour job that requires many hands and electricity.
Last year when Ridgefield was hit hard by two consecutive storms, the family was without power for four days and then eight days. Not only were they without the electricity necessary to keep Cubby alive, but they were without water and septic to keep him free from infection.
Nursing staff were working through the night shift with only flashlights to help them navigate all the medical equipment while trying to keep everything sterile.
Laura Wax, a full-time teacher in Norwalk, was running to and from the Ridgefield Fire Department to charge the battery packs for the ventilator, suction machine and power chair. They blew through two generators and then finally relocated to Laura’s sister’s home.
After the storm, Laura started researching home generators that would go on automatically once the power is lost. The cost proved way beyond her means until the Molly Ann Tango Memorial Foundation stepped in.
The foundation, started by Molly’s parents to assist families having children with special needs, raised the $12,000 needed at its Mother’s Day Luncheon last May.
The generator was installed and Laura never had to worry again about losing the power necessary to keep her beautiful boy alive and well. No one could imagine the storm that would come our way in October, and Laura was very thankful to the foundation that they helped keep her family safe.
The foundation’s next fund-raiser is “Nuts About the Nutcracker,” on Saturday, Dec. 15, at Ridgefield High School.
Show times are noon and 5 p.m.
Tickets at $15 and may be purchased at mollytango.org.