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Jersey Strong is the Pirl Family: Fundraiser for Family Struck Twice by Disaster

Chris, MaryCarol and Emily with Caitlin
Chris, MaryCarol and Emily with Caitlin
The Jay Dooley Memorial Foundation (JDMF) invite the general public to join them on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 3 p.m. for a group run/walk to benefit the Pirl Family at Pier Village in Long Branch, N.J. 

Check-in is 2:30 p.m. at the Shore Runner store. To participate in the 4 mile run/ 2 mile walk, each person is requested to raise $150. Participants will receive a JDMF knit hat, performance shirt from Split Second Racing and complimentary admission to the post-race cocktail party.
 
For those attending the cocktail party fundraiser alone, tickets are $20 per guest or $40 per family. The evening includes light fare (cash bar) from 4 -7 p.m. at McCloone’s Pier House located at 1 Ocean Avenue, Pier Village, Long Branch, N.J. To register for the run/walk or RSVP for the cocktail party, visit the JDMF website.

The day before Thanksgiving in 2008, Caitlin Pirl became the victim of a hit and run drunk driver and is now confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed on the left side and severely brain damaged. Due to her dysphagia, the paralysis of her throat muscles, she cannot eat unsupervised and a paste concoction of food must be made and fed to her so she can safely eat without choking or her lungs filling up with liquid. Her father Chris and sister Emily are her fulltime caregivers, while mother MaryCarol works full-time at Barnabas Health, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, NJ. 
 
Like many families across the country, the Pirls’ medical expenses are mounting with the astronomical costs associated with Caitlin’s copays and medications. They have already refinanced their mortgage and exhausted 401k accounts. Financially, they are at the tipping point.
 
But the same way that life took an unexpected turn for the Pirl Family in 2008 the night Caitlin was hit while walking; her family’s circumstances took another bad turn when Sandy struck the Jersey Shore, consuming their home in three feet of water. Just before the storm, the Pirls’ kitchen and bathroom had been renovated to accommodate Caitlin’s special needs. The storm was a devastating blow on this already financially, physically and emotionally drained family.
 
“Our family’s strength is our shared commitment to Caitlin’s care and recovery,” said Chris Pirl, Caitlin’s father. “It will get us through the rebuild, too.”
 
Thanks to support from groups like Shore 2 Recover, local churches, the Robin Hood Foundation and, most recently, the Jay Dooley Memorial Foundation (JDMF) of Rumson, NJ, the family has received donations of building materials and services to rebuild their home. JDMF will also seek funding to assist with the family’s mounting medical expenses.
 
“Our cousin Jay would have been one of the first people to jump at the opportunity to help the Pirl Family. We are honored to share his spirit of generosity by organizing a JDMF fundraising run/walk in the family’s honor. Jersey Strong is truly the essence of the Pirl family,” said Virginia Dooley, Jay Dooley Memorial Foundation. “Please join our family on Feb 23 as we walk/run for another. We seek to raise a minimum of $10,000.” 

About Jay Dooley Memorial Foundation

Since its founding in 2009, the Jay Dooley Memorial Foundation (JDMF) has raised more than $100,000 for struggling individuals and families. The foundation is deeply committed to assisting children who may have learning disabilities or suffer from depression. The foundation helps their families by easing the economic burden associated with these services, as well as to help their educators by providing in-class support and professional training. The JDMF mission is to address the lack of critical mental and medical health services for families in need and to ease the economic burden associated with these services. 

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