Dinner, crowdfunding site to help raise funds for medical expenses
PROSPECT — When Jeanne Moscariello was pregnant with her second child in 1998, doctors noticed her protein levels were high.
During her pregnancy with her third child, doctors determined the high protein levels were due to issues with her kidney.
In 2009, the 51-year-old Prospect resident’s kidney functions began to break down, and she was in need of a transplant. In 2010, her husband, Ron Moscariello, 50, donated his kidney.
However, by 2014 that kidney began to break down and, in 2015, Jeanne’s body had completely rejected the transplant, Ron Moscariello said.
“It was definitely a long period of time. She was experiencing poor blood counts and was hospitalized with multiple transfusions,” Ron Moscariello said.
Since 2015, Jeanne Moscariello has spent more than 12 months in the hospital as doctors treated her symptoms and tried to find out what was wrong with her, Ron Moscariello said
After multiple tests, Jeanne Moscariello was diagnosed with Evans syndrome, a very rare lupus-type autoimmune disease that causes an individual’s antibodies to attack their own red blood cells and platelets, and Sjögren’s syndrome, which causes the body’s immune system to attack its own healthy cells that produce saliva and tears.
Normal, everyday activities became arduous chores.
“She would have to be careful when doing things like shaving. One nick would bleed for five days. There are no clotting factors and no white cells to fight anything,” Ron Moscariello said.
The disease also began attacking the casing around her nerves, Ron Moscariello said.
“The nerves would make contact with each other and short out,” Ron Moscariello said.
This led Jeanne Moscariello to lose all movement in her legs and only have minimal movement in her arms, he said.
Recently, Jeanne Moscariello has developed other issues, such as seizures and blood clots in her head, Ron Moscariello said.
“We don’t know where they are coming from,” Ron Moscariello said.
Jeanne Moscariello currently receives treatment for at Gaylord Speciality Hospital.
To raise money to help offset her medical expenses, Sarah Lucian, a friend of the family, set up a GoFundMe page for Jeanne Moscariello at www.gofundme.com/jeannemosc.
“The Moscariello’s are a family that have always helped others while needing so much help themselves,” Lucian wrote on the page.
Lucian is also hosting a pasta dinner fundraiser for the family on April 9 from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Ancient Order of Hibernians, 91 Golden Hill St., Waterbury. Tickets for the dinner are $20 per person. Advanced tickets are available through the GoFundMe page.
Ron Moscariello said their life together hasn’t always been about battling a disease.
When she was young, he said, Jeanne Moscariello lived in Delaware and would often visit her cousin in Prospect. They became friends, but the two went their separate ways.
In the late 1990s, they rekindled their friendship and, by October 1998, they were married.
Prior to falling ill, Ron Moscariello said, Jeanne was very energetic and full of life.
“Even before the kidney transplant and after when everything was going fine she was very active and loved spending time with others,” Ron Moscariello said.
Ron Moscariello, who works at the Prospect Public Works Department, said his job allowed Jeanne Moscariello to stay at home with their children. Ron Moscariello said he was injured and has been on workers’ compensation for a year.
Although Prospect has always been his home, Ron Moscariello said he doesn’t know how much longer he and his wife will be able to stay in town. Since Jeanne Moscariello’s condition is so unique, he is looking into places where she can get the best specialized treatment, including the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
“With her conditions being so rare we are pursuing another facility. We are looking for a place that is the highest rated in hematology and rheumatology,” Ron Moscariello said.