NEW MILFORD, N.J. – A New Milford boy diagnosed with a rare genetic disease is preparing to leave for Philadelphia to start treatment, his grandmother told Daily Voice.
Benjamin Cullere, known as Benji, was diagnosed with MPS I, a gene mutation caused disease that can lead to tissue and organ damage.
Benji will receive chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and he and his parents – Jason and Tamara Cullere -- may spend up to five months in the Philadelphia area as he is treated.
A GoFundMe fundraising page created to raise money for Benji’s care and costs related to relocating to Philadelphia garnered more than $30,000 by Monday afternoon.
“It is amazing the goodness that came out of people for my Benjamin,” the little boy’s grandmother, Rosemary Purwin of Bogota, told Daily Voice.
The community is rallying behind the family, using the motto, “Benji Strong,” she said.
Benji’s parents have said they are thankful for the support.
“Neither of us have ever wanted to be in this position however when we look at the people who are helping us and who are standing behind us to support us we are grateful that neither Benji nor our family are alone on this journey,” they wrote in an update to the GoFundMe page.
Purwin said Benji’s mother grew up in Bogota and his father grew up in New Milford.
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