Get your skates on to help baby Iziah
People are urged to get their skates on this weekend to help a baby boy with a rare genetic disorder.
Friends of the family of eight-month-old Iziah Freeman have stepped up to help the family raise funds for his care in a Florida hospital with a roller-skating night on Saturday.
Michelle Freeman said: “My work colleague and fellow roller derby team-mate Keola Thompson has a skate business called Mint Systems.
“She reached out to me and wanted to organise a skate night to help raise funds for my son and my family.
Ms Freeman told the public: “Go along, take your family and skate the night away.”
Iziah has Costello syndrome, which affects only one in 300,000 people and which can result in heart, eyesight and dental problems along with poor growth, weak muscles and skeletal abnormalities.
He is likely to need a ventilator and feeding tube for several years, but Bermuda does not have the facilities to support his medical care.
To bring Iziah back to Bermuda, Ms Freeman and husband Iriah will need to buy a $17,000 ventilator.
They also need funds for accommodation, food and transport while living in Florida while Iziah is treated.
Ms Freeman said: “Right now, there are no types of support in Bermuda for Iziah, no respiratory therapists, no one to provide in-home ventilator services and care.
“It is very important for us to get back to Bermuda. We haven’t been able to be at home and get into a routine with Iziah or even just be close to family.”
The fundraiser at Purvis Primary School is open to all and guests were encouraged to wear “blue for a boy” in support of Iziah.
Ms Freeman said there had been a good response to the event after the family advertised it online.
She added: “I am amazed and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from everybody.
“We are thankful that, even in these times when people have a lot of needs financially, they are willing to give.
“It has been heartwarming for all of us.”
The event, called Rolling for Iziah — the Warrior, will be held at Purvis Primary School gym from 4pm to 9pm.