Golf tournament to benefit Naugatuck teen

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Ryan Trochsler
Ryan Trochsler

NAUGATUCK — To help a borough teenager, family and friends are preparing to rock ‘n’ golf.

On May 11 Ryan’s Rock ‘n’ Golf Tournament will be held at Hop Brook Golf Course to benefit Ryan Trochsler of Naugatuck. Up to 20 groups of four will play 18 holes of golf at Hop Brook Golf Course, eat dinner at Jesse Camille’s Restaurant, and enjoy some live music.

Trochsler, 17, was born with cystic fibrosis and has been living with the disease his entire life.

According to the National Institute of Health, cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract, and other areas of the body. This results in life-threatening lung infections and serious digestion problems.

Tammy Trochsler, Ryan’s mother, said Ryan is on 25 different medications and needs to eat 5,000 calories a day to support his lung functions and keep him healthy.

In addition, Ryan has food allergies that, while not related to the cystic fibrosis, make it more difficult for him to eat the required amount of calories.

“It’s not easy for him. Life is not fair. He’s going through a hard time. He just wants to be normal,” Tammy Trochsler said.

The disease has also caused financial difficulties for the family, which has a $7,000 insurance deductible to pay each year.

Tammy Trochsler said this is the first fundraiser that has been held for Ryan.

“We’ve never really asked for help,” she said.

However, Dennis and Jennifer Szantyr, Prospect residents and friends of the Trochslers, thought it was time to change that.

Jennifer Szantyr said that both her husband and Michael Trochsler, Ryan’s father, golf, so holding a golf tournament was a natural choice.

Although this is the first time she has put a fundraiser together, she said that it’s going very well.

“Were doing everything we’ve set out to do,” she said.

Tammy Trochsler said her family is very thankful for the help from the Szantyrs, as well as everyone who has donated.

“We think it’s wonderful. There are so many people that want to help. It touches our hearts deeply,” Tammy Trochsler said.

Tammy Trochsler also felt the golf fundraiser is appropriate, since so many people they know play golf.

“My husband golfs. A lot of the friends that are putting this together golf. We have a lot of family that golfs,” Tammy Trochsler said.

Tammy Trochsler said while cystic fibrosis affects most of her son’s life, it is not the only thing that defines him.

“Ryan loves to play basketball. Write mystery thriller stories,” she said. “He wants to be a writer. He’s so creative, he’s really brilliant.”

According to Tammy Trochsler, Ryan currently has a series of short detective stories, called “The Draco Rider Series,” which he hopes to have published one day.

Even though Ryan is doing his best to lead a normal life, remaining healthy requires a lot of work, Tammy Trochsler said.

“CF doesn’t stand still, every day it is something that you have to deal with. You have to do your treatments, you have to take your meds. Over time, if you’re not doing that, it can affect you, and that’s when you progress,” she said.

While it takes a lot of work, she said, they will not give up trying to keep Ryan healthy.

“You do everything you can to keep your child healthy every single day. We’re doing everything we can,” Tammy Trochsler said.

The RSVP date for the fundraiser is April 24. The cost to play golf is $125 per person and includes 18 holes of golf, a cart, dinner and live music. Those who are not interested in golfing can attend the dinner for $35.

The fundraiser on May 11 begins with registration at 10:30 a.m. and tee time is set for 12 p.m.

Donations for a raffle and silent auction and sponsorships are also being sought. Anyone interested in participating in the fundraiser or donating can call Jennifer Szantyr at (203) 704-0509 or email Events.for.Ryan@gmail.com.