DARIEN, Conn. – Darien High School coaches Rob and Marj Trifone will be honored by the Rasmussen Encephalitis Children’s Project at the Darien-based charity’s third annual fundraiser, Turning Love into Power III, on Feb. 2 at the Woodway Country Club.
“The Trifones have been with us from Day 1 and have supported my organization on so many levels. More importantly, as coaches they have made a difference in the life of my daughter, Grace,” said Seth Wohlberg, founder of the RE Children’s Project.
“Their leadership and willingness to support my efforts are examples for the community. The Trifones are winners and have had a positive impact on so many young people in this community and are well deserving of this recognition.”
Wohlberg started the RE Children’s Project after his daughter, Grace, was diagnosed with Rasmussen's encephalitis in 2008. Rasmussen's encephalitis is a rare neurological disease that causes seizures, cognitive deficits and paralysis of half the body. In 2010, she underwent the only known treatment, a hemispherectomy, in which half the brain is removed. Today she is back in school and adjusting to life with a full-time aide. Her doctor at UCLA, Gary Mathern, will be the featured speaker at Turning Love into Power.
Marj Trifone is the girls swimming coach and a teacher at Darien High School. This year she coached the girls to the FCIA Class L division and Connecticut State High School championships. Following Grace’s surgery, she encouraged her to get back in the pool, and this year invited Grace to be the girls team manager to help ease her entrance into high school.
Rob Trifone is also a teacher and the high school football coach. He first met the Wohlbergs when he coached their son, Mike, in 2008, when the team went undefeated in the regular season. He has sponsored the “Lifting Grace” event for the past three years, in which local football teams compete in the weight room to raise money for the RE Children’s Project.
The RE Children’s Project has sponsored cross-disciplinary research projects and funded research all over the world in an effort to find a cure for Rasmussen's encephalitis. It has also sponsored research toward recovery following the hemispherectomy procedure.
For information on ordering tickets for Turning Love into Power III, go to the RE Children’s Project website.