Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars Pour In For Family Of New Canaan Boy Fighting Rare Diseases

A fundraising effort to help the family of a precocious Connecticut boy fighting a rare neuromuscular disease is already so successful that it has exceeded its original goal by over $30,000. 

Boyd Thornhill of New Canaan. 

Boyd Thornhill of New Canaan. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of GoFundMe "Help the Thornhills in Boyd's Fight"

The effort was created to help the family of Boyd Thornhill, a Fairfield County boy from New Canaan who suffers from myasthenia gravis and mitochondrial disease, which has caused him several medical issues that have forced him to endure countless hospital stays, doctor's appointments, and medicines. 

Because of the intensity of care that Boyd's diseases require, his parents, Caitlin and Jay Thornhill, are experiencing rising medical bills and have reduced ability to work. They also have to make time to take care of their other child, 4-and-a-half-year-old Rosie. To help them with their expenses, their friend, Kimberly Woolf, began a GoFundMe page to collect donations on their behalf. 

"The medical expenses are piling up as they navigate endless complications with the insurance companies to cover their needs," Woolf wrote on the page, adding, "We're at a crossroads that Caitlin, Jay, and their immediate families can only keep up this pace for so long." 

Originally diagnosed with myasthenia gravis in early 2023, Boyd has been in and out of hospitals across the northeast for more than a year. Most recently, on Wednesday, May 15, he went through a test to prepare him for a major surgery that required him to go under general anesthesia, Caitlin Thornhill wrote. 

"Many things in his life are just too complicated and risky that we have to add many extra layers to ensure his safety; to ensure he lives. He needs to be under because his respiratory muscles are too weak from his myasthenia; because his airway is too difficult from the swelling caused by SO MANY steroids," Thornhill said. 

She continued, "There is nothing we do each day with Boyd that is a one-step process or feels “easy”. Nothing is easy except to love him, that is." 

Although he suffers from medical issues that no one his age should have to deal with, Boyd's "magnetic" personality still shines through, according to his family. His loved ones know him as a class clown passionate about topics such as Zamboni hydraulics and garbage trucks. 

"He is hilarious," Thornhill said, adding, "He has so much to teach us still and so much wonder left to discover." 

As of Thursday, May 23, the fundraiser had raised a whopping $45,626, far exceeding the original goal of $8,000. 

Those interested in contributing can do so by clicking here. 

Thanks to the donations, the Thornhill family will have more resources to find the best care for Boyd.

"The truth is that we (including his extensive medical team) don’t know what the future holds for Boyd, but we sure do know how loved he is," Caitlin Thornhill said, continuing, "Whether you have contributed to this GoFundMe, provided a meal, a prayer, a well wish or an ear to listen, we are incredibly grateful." 

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