UNION, NJ – A Union family, whose young daughter faces multiple hospitalizations and surgeries, will be the recipient of this year’s “Taste of Union” event to be held on Thursday, April 19.  The “Taste of Union” annually showcases local restaurants and food vendors to benefit an individual or family in need.

The Cosico's young daughter Elyse was born with a rare congenital condition called Apert Syndrome.  The syndrome is characterized by abnormal skull development, fused fingers and toes, and some facial deformities.  Elyse will confront multiple surgeries as she grows.

“We are happy to help support Elyse and hope the readers feel the same,” said event chairperson Phyllis Monguso.  “I think giving is an ongoing process. It’s not just a check, it’s being able to touch someone’s life.”

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According to Monguso, in the past year, Elyse has undergone three trips to Dallas where she receives her care.  She recently had Lefort-3 surgery with a Halo placement to move her middle face forward and fix her protruding eyes.   Elyse was subsequently hospitalized at Saint Barnabas Medical Center with an infection.

In August of 2017, Elyse had neck and spine surgery, after an MRI showed an instability in her spine, specifically C1 and C2.  An instability at this location could render Elyse paralyzed if not immediately corrected.  In December, Elyse had to undergo a CVR (Cranial Vault Reconstruction), where the skull bone was reopened again to allow normal brain development.

Surgeries are performed at Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas, Texas because of their expertise in this rare condition.  Because of these out of state services, the Cosico’s medical insurance does not cover most of the bills and requires upfront payment before Elyse can be scheduled for surgery.  The family’s expenses also include flights and lodging while tending to their daughter in Dallas.

“We are counting on your support, so Elyse will be able to keep getting the care she needs,” said Monguso.  “Elyse is expected to have a few more surgeries in the future and the hope of continuing her medical follow-up in Texas will rely solely on your help. All proceeds will be used for medical bills and her ongoing care.”

The “Taste of Union” event will be held Thursday, April 19, at the Knights of Columbus, 1034 Jeannette Avenue, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased at the Clerk’s Office in the Municipal Building, 1976 Morris Avenue (908-851-8501) or at the Senior Center, 968 Bonnel Court (908-851-5290).  Information on donations can be forwarded to Phyllis Monguso at 908-851-5290.