Three years ago, Anthony “Tony” Giglio was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis, caused by a blood disease called hyperlipidemia.

Because of this rare condition, Anthony is unable to hold a steady job, and is without health insurance or a source of income. To this point, Social Security has denied him disability benefits.

In November of 2005, 14 pseudo-cysts were found on his pancreas. Because of the high mortality rate associated with pancreatic surgery, Giglio was placed on a feeding tube (instead of the surgery) for three and a half months, and sent home with regular nursing visits. Giglio has lost 120 pounds.

To help Giglio pay for his medical care, a benefit is being planned with the assistance of local 16-inch softball players as well as his friends and family. The benefit is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the 115 Bourbon St. Restaurant in Marionette Park. All are welcome.

Tony is now 36 years old. He is the son of Frank and Theresa Giglio and the brother of Rosemary and Frankie. He attended Betsy Ross School and graduated from the Forest Park Middle School and St. Joseph High School. His mother, Theresa, is the longtime secretary at Grant White School. Giglio was a regular on several softball teams at the park district.

Over the past three years Giglio has been hospitalized a dozen times. Each hospital stay is for two or three weeks. Last year he had his gallbladder removed, hoping this would help the pancreas, but the surgery was not successful.

Because of the volatile nature of pancreatitis, Giglio’s doctor said it is unlikely that he will be able to work again. He is now taking several different types of medication, and the hospital bills are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Thus far, Giglio’s family and friends have attempted to cover his medical expenses out of pocket.

Help is needed. Volunteers are required for committees, and raffle prizes are needed as well as food and drink donations. If you would like to help out, you can call Theresa Giglio at 708-456-15809 or you can check out for updates on his condition.

Donations may be mailed directly to First Security Trust and Savings Bank, 7315 W. Grand Ave., Elmwood Park 68701, Attention: James H. Andrle, vice president. Checks should be made payable to “An Awareness for Anthony.”