Seven-year-old Mason Morash’s family is growing at a rapid rate. That’s because the members of Fallbrook Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1924 and its Ladies Auxiliary have wrapped their arms and heart around the boy, who is the grandson of devoted, local volunteers Ron and Gail Vasinda.
“Mason has severe aplastic anemia and they are still trying to find a bone marrow donor match for him,” said Dana McCarthy, junior vice president of the Ladies Auxiliary.
Knowing there is power in a team effort, the VFW has not only launched into action to help raise money to offset medical bills for the family, but also to try and speed the process of finding a bone marrow match for the 7-year-old.
Mason lived the life of an active little boy until he began experiencing problems and was diagnosed with the rare disease in December.
He has had many challenges of late and is currently living in a controlled environment to ensure his health remains as stable as possible, since his immune system can’t protect him from illness.
The best treatment option for Mason is a bone marrow transplant, but a good match must be found to do that. While his younger brother Ethan was quickly tested as a top consideration, the match wasn’t close enough.
The Morash family is now valiantly working with the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Through the global search known as “Be the Match,” it is hoped the right individual to help Mason is found. Meanwhile, time is ticking.
“[Mason] has become pretty emotional,” explained his mother, Corinne Morash. “The entire situation has begun to take its toll on him.”
The most recent challenge, she said, was when “he experienced some more concerns with his mouth, and enough bleeding to warrant an unscheduled visit to Rady Children’s Hospital for a transfusion of platelets.”
The carefully monitored care of the young boy and frequent trips for medical care have become a team effort for the family. And then there are the mounting bills.
To help with those costs, the VFW has announced they will hold a fundraising dinner for Mason and his family on Saturday, March 1 at 6 p.m. at the Post, located at 1175 Old Stage Road.
“It is an Italian dinner that will include stuffed manicotti, Italian sausage, eggplant parmigiana, salad, bread, and dessert,” said McCarthy. Donation requested is $15 per person.
Quick and easy swabs will be offered at the event as well, McCarthy said, for those ages 18 to 44 who would like to see if they are a bone marrow match for Mason. “We will have them there and then I just bundle them up and send them to the lab,” she said. For potential bone marrow donors unable to attend the fundraising dinner, visit www.bethematch.org.
“We will also be selling raffle tickets, which is our second fundraiser for Mason,” she said. Raffle tickets for $5 each provide a person with the chance to win a $500 gift certificate. The drawing for the gift certificate will take place March 28.
“They estimate the raffle tickets will generate almost $5,000 which is awesome and very much appreciated,” Corinne said. Donations can also be made directly to Mason’s family through the “Benefit For Mason Morash” account at any Mission Federal Credit Union office.
To follow Mason’s story, visit www.supermase.com.
For more information, or to purchase tickets to the March 1 fundraising dinner, call Dana McCarthy at (760) 717-3262.