My name is Erica Russom. I'm Kasey & Cory Moraw's step-sister, Janet Russom's step-daughter, and Allen Russom's daughter. My dad & Janet have been married since October 1998, so I've been blessed with my "second family" for over 15 years.
Cory has had many health issues to deal with in his short 28 years of life. He was born w/DiGeorge syndrome, which has affected his immune system, caused developmental delays; including delayed speech development, learning difficulties, distinct facial features, etc. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/digeorge-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20031464
He's also been diagnosed w/both Type 1 & Type 2 diabetes. More recently though, we've learned Cory is in the "advanced stages" of Cirrhosis of the Liver. They can't accurately determine a stage because his spleen is so enlarged, and they're unable to perform the required tests that would tell them exactly. Obviously, he didn't get Cirrhosis of the Liver from alcohol abuse as most do. Some other causes of Cirrhosis of the Liver (NOT necassarily in Cory's case) are; long-standing obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cirrhosis/basics/definition/con-20031617
There is no cure for Cirrhosis of the Liver. Unfortunately, Cory is NOT a candidate for a liver transplant, because of how brittle his diabetes is, & having immune deficiency. The doctors have predicted 1-5 years. Cory is extraordinary, and could possibly out-live us all. Nobody knows when our time will come. When Cory was given the doctor's predictions, he said, "I wasn't suppose to graduate, or make it past 18. All I can do is keep trying." - Keep "TRYING" to live... At age 28, that seems so unfair. I cannot imagine what Cory must be feeling, thinking. He has to be terrified, but he's certainly putting on a brave face.
If you know Cory, then you know he's extremely passionate about the things that he loves. He loves sports, and being a Tatum High graduate, he most especially loves Tatum sports. He attends as many sporting events as possible, including; football, baseball, volleyball, basketball, etc. When he can't be at the games, you can still count on him to know every score, and every big play, during every game. He also loves college and professional sports. A few of his favorites include; Texas aTm, Houston Texans, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, etc. For as long as I've known Cory, he's loved dance, any kind of dance; cheer & cheer competitions, drill team, Spring Shows, half-time shows, Kilgore Rangerettes, Hallsville Bobcat Belles, "So You Think You Can Dance", "Dancing w/the Stars", Wii dance games, etc. He drags Janet to as many dancing events as he can get her to. Cory knows the weather, and loves the rain. He does NOT love storms. He's actually terrified of them. That's probably the main reason that he KNOWS the weather. At any given time, you could ask Cory about the weather, and he'd be able to tell you, your 10-day forecast. Lastly, but certainly not least, Cory loves music. He watches "American Idol" & "The Voice" religiously. He likes all the dance & cheer mixes, and has most of them burned onto Cds. He likes Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Luke Bryan, and tons of other artists. But most of all, Cory loves Britney Spears. If ever there was a No. 1 Britney fan, it would hands-down HAVE to be Cory.
When I first learned of Cory's diagnosis, and the short amount of time they had given him to live, I initially wanted to throw him a giant, surprise dance party. Invite all the people he looks up to, & loves the most, play all his favorite music, and just dance! Unfortunately, Cory's health is deteriorating much faster than we had hoped. He normally doesn't feel like even coming out of his room, much less attending any parties. There is only one thing in this world that Cory would feel like doing, (in Janet's words) "even on his deathbed", and that would be to see Britney Spears LIVE. He recently went online and printed ticket information off about one of her shows in February. Begging our parents to make it happen, and consider it his Christmas/Birthday/Valentine's Day gift. I asked Janet why he would chose February (considering his health, and how ill he's already become), and she said that was when the tickets were cheapest. I guess because it's so far in advance?
So, that's why we're here. Cory is almost 30 years old, so Make-A-Wish isn't an option. It's up to ALL of us to help make Cory's dream come true. My goal is to raise enough money to fly Janet & Cory to Vegas, put them up in a hotel room, get their tickets to see BRITNEY SPEARS live show, Piece of Me, and of course, get them back home again. I'd love to get them VIP tickets/passes, that include a Meet & Greet w/Spears, but just getting them to the show period would be more than a blessing. There just so happens to be a show, Tuesday, August 19th. I feel that is the PERFECT show for them to attend, because it's also Kasey Jo's birthday. I'm sure you all know who Kasey is, but just incase, that's Janet's only daughter, Cory's big sister, that was killed September 5, 2003 in a car wreck right in front of their home. Kasey was Cory's sister, best-friend, protector, confidant, and running buddy. Losing her when she was only 20 years old, & Cory only 17, was obviously devastating to our entire family, most especially Janet & Cory. What better way to celebrate (what would have been) Kasey's 31st birthday, than making Cory's wildest dream come true, before he no longer has the opportunity?
I've discussed this with both Janet & my dad, to make sure that it was okay to do, and make sure they thought he would be up to it. I'm praying that we can make this happen for Cory, and make his time left here on Earth (no matter how long, or how short that may be) precious, and unforgettable. I know the memories Janet & Cory will share on their trip will be something she can treasure, from now until forever.
I'm begging y'all, the people Cory admires, looks up to, and loves the most, to PLEASE donate what you can. No amount is too small. Share this link, and Cory's story, with your friends & family, so that they may feel the desire to donate, and help make Cory's dream come true.
Every DIME will go towards Janet & Cory's trip, and absolutely NOTHING else. Including, but not limited to: roundtrip airfare for 2 to Las Vegas, Nevada; 2 nights stay in a hotel near Planet Hollywood; 2 tickets/passes to the August 19th Piece of Me show starring Britney Spears; Any extras we can cover such as: meals, rental car, souvenirs, etc.
Also, if anyone has any other fund-raising ideas, I'll be happy to take suggestions! Anything I can do to raise the money for this, I'm more than willing to do!
There's no way to accurately describe what this will mean for Cory & Janet if we can pull it off. But I can promise you, there's nothing in this world that Cory would want more. (Other than to NOT have Cirrhosis of the Liver at all, but there's nothing we can do about that.) We CAN do this. Please help!
Thank you for reading, and mostly, thank you for helping!