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Comedy Show to Benefit Milford Teen Battling Rare Illness

Proceeds will benefit the medical care for Coleman Candalerio, who is battling Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Comedy Show to Benefit Milford Teen Battling Rare Illness

A comedy show to be held later this month will benefit a Milford teen who is currently battling a rare form of heart disease. 

Coleman Candalerio, 17, is battling  Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a form of congenital heart disease in which the left ventricle does not develop. He was diagnosed with shortly after his born, and, as part of treatment, has undergone three open heart surgeries and other corrective procedures. The teen also has  Protein Losing Enteropathy, a result of one of his surgeries. 

Typical symptoms for children with Protein Losing Enteropathy include swelling in the hands and feet, but for Coleman the swelling has occurred primarily in the stomach and face. Making Coleman's case even rarer, he has not needed to receive a special human growth hormone most children with the condition require while going through puberty.

Currently, he sees specialists in Pennsylvania, as doctors in Massachusetts have not been able to provide the proper treatment. A heart transplant is currently the best hope for long-term treatment. Because he must go out of state for treatment, his family must pay out of pocket for all medical expenses, as MassHealth cannot cover out-of-state treatment. 

The upcoming benefit Comedy Show is meant to help alleviate the financial burden the family has had to bear, and is being organized by Julie Atherton, RJ Sheedy of Milford TV’s "Talk Show with RJ Sheedy," and Comedian Jerry Caruso. The event will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 19 at  Sciolis Pizza Bar, 146 S. Main St. in Milford, and feature comedians Jerry Caruso, Dennis Wirth, Ace Aceto and Greg Boggis. 

Tickets for the event can be purchased in advance rom Sciolis, Julie Atherton or RJ Sheedy for $10 or at the door for $15. The event will feature a 50/50 raffle; all proceeds will go to supporting Candelario's care. 

Additionally, those who wish to donate funds in support of Candelario's family can do so by visiting gofundme.com/coleycandelario. Thus far, the GoFundMe effort has raised nearly $16,000. 

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