When Jerry met Eric and Jillian Steinberg, they had two sons, Gage, 3 and baby Jax, 16 months. At 33 days old, Jax was diagnosed with Cockayne Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that involves progressive multi-system degeneration characterized by premature aging. He received medical care at Children’s Hospital Colorado. At birth Jax underwent cataract surgery. At 10 months old Jax became deaf and was placed on a feeding tube.
As Jax’s health continued to deteriorate, he family’s financial well-being crumbled too. One of their two vehicles was out of commission so Caruso Family Charities got it repaired. CFC also helped pay their last month’s rent so they could move in with Eric’s parents. They were down to one income and dealing with household bills and medical expenses for baby Jax, CFC also helped pay some mounting bills.
“The relief of having the bills paid was unimaginable,” Jillian shared.
Tragically, Jax developed a respiratory infection at 16 months old and succumbed to the virus.
Jerry Caruso attended baby Jax’s funeral in Evergreen. Jillian and Eric released two doves at the end of the service to symbolize a guardian angel leading Jax to heaven.
The dove pair disappeared over the mountains because they are trained to fly home. But suddenly the doves reappeared and circled back over everyone at Jax’s funeral for one last fly over. Jillian said, “It was really moving.”
Jillian wishes to thank all of Caruso Family Charity’s supporters. “When you’re thinking about making a donation to a charity, your biggest question is where the money goes – if it’s actually being used the way it’s intended.
There are charities that help with the medical needs of the child, but a charity that recognizes that mom and dad are struggling and knows what we’re going through is one in a million. Caruso Family Charities helped us so that we could put our focus on Jax,” she said.
She added, “The feeling of not being able to provide for your child is the hardest thing. Actually the hardest was admitting it and asking Jerry for help. But without a hesitation he said, ‘done!’ And there was a check in the mail that afternoon. Remarkable. It was the greatest gift that we received through the whole process.”
Thanks to our generous supporters, Caruso Family Charities was able to help the Steinberg family with their financial difficulties while Jax was alive and help pay for baby Jax’s funeral.