KeVaughn “K.E.” Plunkett, now in fourth grade at P.S. 229, suffers from a rare medical condition called eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder, in which his white blood cells attack food as if it is a parasite.
K.E. lives through a feeding tube in his stomach, and currently has only five safe foods – potatoes, rice, apples, corn and some pork. He survives mostly on a formula called Elecare.
However, he will soon try his first hamburger, said his mother Colleen Plunkett at their fourth Annual Art Show event at Saint Mary's Church in Woodside on Saturday, April 21.
The event featured a magician, costumed characters, a silent auction and a visit from teen actress Carly Rose Sonenclar of “The Electric Company.”
All of the money from the fundraiser will be donated to the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED), which raises awareness about the condition and funding to one day find a cure.
K.E. was diagnosed when he was two. Colleen said they spent much of that first year trying to figure out what was going on and looking around the country for doctors who could treat the disorder.
The family still travels to Philadelphia for treatment, and Colleen said she used to keep pamphlets on the disorder in her bag in case workers in a local emergency room didn't know what it was.
“We just really want to promote awareness so other people don't have to go through what we did for the first almost three years of his life, not knowing what's going on,” she said.
They connect with other families on Facebook and at the yearly APFED conference, to be held in July in San Diego.
When asked what she wants to say to other families who fight eosinophilic disorders, Colleen said, “you're not alone.”
For more information, visit Apfed.org.