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Local charity to offset surgery costs for boy with tumor disorder

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Kim and Matthew Laret are both Youngstown-natives, but moved to Columbus seven years ago where they're raising two sons, one of which was born with a tumor-causing genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis.

"Sometimes he will stand in the mirror with me and say, 'Mom, how come I have this chubby cheek? Mom, how come my smile goes downwards?" and I am just like, 'Because you have a big bubble in there buddy," said Kim Laret of Columbus.

And for 5-year-old Quentin Laret, the explanation works.  However, that 'big bubble' on the right side of his face is actually a tumor.  Quentin was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis when he was 18 months old.  It's a genetic disorder, passed down from his father, that causes tumors to grow throughout a person's nervous system.

"In Quentin's situation, he has what is called Plexiform, which presents a whole different issue because it is wrapped all around his nerve like a spider web," said Laret.

Quentin has already undergone nearly a dozen surgeries and the family is meeting with surgeons next month to plan additional procedures.  While most of the costs associated with his treatment are covered through insurance, the family often has to operate on just one income in order for Kim to care for Quentin.

"Imagine losing two to three months of your salary at any given time, on top of follow up doctor's visits and appointments.  He sees14 physicians between two hospitals and it is a full time job within itself," said Laret.

To help the family, the Knights of Columbus is hosting a pasta dinner fundraiser on Sunday from noon to 5:00pm at St. Brendan Parish in Youngstown.  There will also be silent auctions and a 50/50 raffle.

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