HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Many in Hasbrouck Heights are supporting an upcoming fundraiser for a young boy in the borough who has a rare but serious condition. A Night for Austin will be held at Hasbrouck Heights VFW Post 4591 on Friday, November 15 from 7 to 11pm. 

Austin is a student at Euclid Elementary School and has been diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Myelitis. The condition affects the nervous system, specifically the area of the spinal cord called gray matter, which causes muscle weakness and paralysis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. AFM primarily affects children under the age of 18. Since 2014, federal health officials have confirmed over 500 cases of AFM in the United States. 

Prior to his diagnosis, Austin was an active boy, who loved to build with Legos, snap circuits and Minecraft. He planned to be an inventor or engineer and wrote down his ideas for future inventions. In October, he participated in the annual Halloween Painting on the Boulevard. 

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Austin receives both occupational and physical therapy to maintain his strength and abilities. These therapies are vital to improve his chance of recovery, and give him the greatest opportunity for a healthy and independent life. All funds raised at the evening's event will go toward Austin and his family.

"As a parent my heart breaks for the Zgoda family," said Michael Sickels, principal of Euclid Elementary School. "As a principal, I am very proud of Austin, his perseverance and his resolve to overcome.  I am also very proud to be a member of this community that takes care of each other in times of need.  The people of Hasbrouck Heights are amazing!"

Tickets for A Night for Austin are $20 and can be purchased from Kathy Christensen (551-265-7904) or Rose Pagan (201-240-4440.) All outside food is permitted.



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