A plan to help his cousin's family cope with the ongoing challenges of medical costs due to an infant son needing a heart transplant at just three-months-of age has Warren resident Heston Allocco kayaking the Hudson River from Albany, N.Y. to Liberty State Park—145 miles in all—to raise money.
His cousin’s infant son, Hudson Gay, has successfully received his new heart, and Allocco wants to help the family.
“This is a great, young family that is dealing amazingly well with a very hard start," he said. "I was inspired to do more than write a check, to try to inspire lots of other people to write one, too.
“Both parents did what any of us would do, they took a leave of absence from their jobs in Maine and stayed with their baby at Children’s Hospital in Boston,” Allocco, who volunteers as a Somerset County Search and Rescue Team member and Warren's Deputy OEM Coordinator, added.
Today, Hudson is stronger than ever, and is snuggled close every night at home.
But the family now faces a lifetime of expensive medications, frequent hospital stays hours away from home, and uncertain employment because of the need for ongoing care for Hudson.
Readers can help by sponsoring Allocco's journey—go to Hudson's website and navigate to the “Paddling the Hudson for Hudson” page to donate, or send a check made out to "Paddling for Hudson" to Allocco at 7 Mustang Trail, Warren, NJ 07059.
Allocco currently volunteers as a Somerset County Search and Rescue Team Member, WarrenTownship Deputy OEM Coordinator, Warren CERT Captain and was a volunteer fireman for 18 years in Morris County.