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Lacrosse Fundraiser in Dobbs Ferry to Benefit Boy with Rare Disease

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May 14, 2021

By Rick Pezzullo—

A lacrosse game fundraiser to benefit an 11-year-old Dobbs Ferry boy who suffers from a rare and terminal disease will be held Friday afternoon at the Upper Field at Springhurst Elementary School in Dobbs Ferry.

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The game between the Dobbs Ferry Eagles and the Irvington Bulldogs gets underway at 4:30 p.m., a day before MPS Awareness Day. Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) and Mucolipidosis (ML) are genetic lysosomal storage diseases caused by the body’s inability produce specific enzymes.

It is the second such event organized by Dobbs Ferry High School senior and varsity lacrosse midfielder Harry Dann, Jr. in honor of Jacob Moon, a family friend, who suffers from Sanfilippo Syndrome, a rare, terminal disease.

Five years ago, Moon was diagnosed with the degenerative condition that affects 1 in 70,000 children in the United States each year. Moon is one of a handful of children in the tri-state area who suffers from his specific type of Sanfilippo Syndrome. He lacks an enzyme that breaks down cellular waste. This waste will eventually reach toxic levels destroying his brain over time which is why it is sometimes called “Childhood Alzheimer’s.” Major regression is a result and will reduce his life expectancy to his late teen years.

“Despite what the Moon family is going through, they never complain and are always so kind to everyone,” said Dann, Jr, 17, who is headed to Penn State University in the fall.

His mother, Barbara, added, “Harry really looks up to them and wanted to do the fundraiser again because he has always been so deeply moved by Jacob.”

Two years ago, the first lacrosse game in honor of Moon raised more than $1,000. Last year’s plans were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Moon will be on the field at the start of the game with both teams’ captains. Bill and Christine Moon, who are also parents to 13-year-old Ella and eight-year-old Matthew, have had a difficult time managing Jacob’s daily routine this year on their own. That’s why this year’s fundraiser means so much to Christine.

“I’m always impressed and amazed by Harry and kids, in general, who are so motivated,” she said.

Dann, Jr knows that the pandemic may affect the game’s attendance but is encouraged by the Irvington team’s willingness to join his efforts as well as the goodwill of the Dobbs Ferry community. Dann, Jr. designed a special Celebrate Jacob t-shirt for both teams to wear. Those t-shirts will be available for purchase for $20 at the game with proceeds going to the Cure Sanfilippo Foundation (www.curesff.org).

To follow Moon’s journey, visit Facebook @celebratejacob.

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