Most of those who attended the 10th annual Christopher’s Hemophilia Benefit, in support of a Lynbrook teenager suffering from a rare blood disorder, donned green instead of the usual red.
With the event taking place on March 16 — the eve of St. Patrick’s Day — the Ambrosio family decided to embrace a different theme for this year’s event. Nearly all of the about 400 people who came to the Coral House in Baldwin wore green.
“It was a great night,” said Kelly Ambrosio, Christopher’s mother. “It was amazing. It’s very humbling and overwhelming that everyone stops what they’re doing in their busy lives and rearranges their plans to support the cause.”
Christopher, 13, was diagnosed with hemophilia when he was a day old. Hemophilia is a condition in which the ability of the blood to clot is severely reduced, causing the sufferer to bleed severely from even a slight injury. In dealing with the disease, Christopher must insert a needle into his chest on a daily basis. The family has to also be careful about the furniture they buy and the types of toothbrushes he uses.
Christopher is the eldest of Kelly and Danny Ambrosio’s three children. His brother Connor, 12, and sister Kelsey, 8, also attended the event. Christopher is a student at Lynbrook North Middle School and will attend Chaminade High School in Mineola next year.
To support Christopher and raise money for hemophilia research and education, the Ambrosios began hosting an annual fundraiser in 2009, which has grown each year. The funds benefit the New York City Hemophilia Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation. As of press time, more than $35,000 had been raised from this year’s benefit.
Attendees included neighbors, friends and family members of the Ambrosios, as well as Lynbrook village officials and Town of Hempstead Councilman Anthony D’Esposito.
In preparation for the fundraiser, the community came together to host pretzel sales and other events in Lynbrook schools to purchase items to be raffled off. The items this year included a television, a paddleboard and a camera. In addition, local businesses donated items and nearly 300 baskets were prepared. Marinara Pizzeria & Restaurant, in Hewlett, also gave 20 percent of its profits from March 26 toward the cause.
The Ambrosios are now looking ahead to the annual Hemophilia Walk on June 3 in New York City, where their team, “Christopher’s Crew,” will walk to raise more money and awareness. Donations can be made at https://bit.ly/2IZLSCN.
Kelly said her family is grateful for everyone who helped and to all those who attended the event. “Everyone stops to support Christopher and the cause,” she said. “It’s amazing. There really is no way to describe it.”