Commisso Family Story - A Very Special Family
The Commisso Family
A plea for help, compassion and prayers
I am writing this to introduce you to a very special family and my hope is that anyone who reads this will share it with all of their friends and families.
I know the Commiso family through their son Cosimo who went to school with my son and our church. They have suffered indescribable pain thoughout the years and yet somehow through their faith, remain positive. The Commiso family are role models who are loved and admired throughout our community.
This is their remarkable story...
The Commisso family consists of Tony, Sonia and their children, Cosimo, Jesse and Alessia
This family has endured many changes over the years with several family members having experienced serious health related issues. Their story details many of their heartbreaking challenges which they have had to face and overcome. Their daily obstacles and struggles have been very stressful and have impacted them physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. They have persevered in faith, hope and love.
Tony has Multiple Sclerosis; his son Cosimo has a seizure disorder and a learning disability. Their daughter Jesse passed on in 2001 at the young age of 2 years and 5 months due to complication of a Mitochondrial Disease and Congestive Heart Failure. Alessia too has been diagnosed with the same disease as her sister Jesse and has a seizure disorder as well. Sonia is the sole caregiver of the family and has been overwhelmed with a significant amount of responsibilities over the years and is experiencing severe stress levels.
The Commisso family story - By Sonia Commisso
Tony was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 32. He is now 46 years old and over the past 14 years his MS has progressed rapidly and has experienced severe physical and cognitive decline as a result. Tony requires a power wheelchair to get around as he is unable to walk or stand on his own. He is unable to use the left side of his body and is also being treated for a seizure disorder. Tony’s speech has been severely impaired and he has a difficult time speaking, eating and swallowing.
Cosimo is now 19 years old and he too faces many struggles. He was diagnosed with a seizure disorder at the age of one. Over the course of his life, he has been on several different anti-epileptic medications that have helped reduce some of his seizures. However, the side effects of these medications along with the seizures themselves have impacted his cognitive ability requiring special education and assistance with daily tasks. As well, Cosimo faces many emotional challenges and has a very difficult time managing his anger which now requires professional consultation.
April 25, 1999 to October 1, 2001
Jesse is our angel. She passed on to complications of congestive heart failure due to a rare mitochondrial disease. She was 2 years and 5 months when she left this world. She is always on our hearts and minds
Alessia is nine years old. She is a very happy and playful little girl who lives life to its fullest, despite the challenges she faces. She was diagnosed at the age of 18 months with a mitochondrial disease and has faced many struggles in her young life. Like her brother Cosimo, she too has a seizure disorder that requires close monitoring.
Alessia’s fine and gross motor skills are not as advanced as other nine year olds. She cannot walk or stand up on her own and requires a wheelchair and walker in order to get around. However, she is able to sit, roll and crawl on her own. She is involved in intense physiotherapy in order to improve her motor skills, her tone and her strength. The goal is for Alessia to walk using canes. She is not far from this goal!
Like her sister Jesse, Alessia’s heart has been affected by this disease and she requires constant supervision to monitor her respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure. Her fluid intake and her calorie count need constant monitoring as well.
Alessia’s cells require a considerable amount of energy to keep her body functioning. The energy is derived from her calorie intake where the nutrients from the food are converted into energy. This task is performed by the mitochondria. Her body requires food and fluids to keep the energy cycle going in order for her to have a normal day. She therefore cannot have anytime of fasting.
Alessia’s intake is complex and must have a balance of fluid to stay hydrated and food to keep her energy levels maintained. When intake is not balanced, complications occur such as heart failure and fluid overload of the lungs, resulting in hospitalization.
Sonia is the sole caregiver to all her family members. She is appealing to the community for assistance with her family. Given all these challenges, she is looking to find ways to increase support for her family and hopes that through this brochure you will have had a glimpse into this family’s complex situation and life.
Mitochondrial disease result from failures of the mitochondria, specialized compartments present in almost every cell of the body. Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support growth. When they fail, less and less energy is generated within the cell. Cell injury and even cell death follow. If this process is repeated throughout the body, whole systems begin to fail, and the life of the person in whom this is happening is severely compromised. This disease has affected both Jesse and Alessia. (umdf.org) For further details about mitochondrial disease, you can visit: www.mitocanada.org
The Commisso family is in need of:
- Nursing Care
- Respite relief
- Medical supplies, i.e. condom catheters
- Medical equipment
- Mobility equipment
- Medications and vitamins
- Horse therapy (hippo therapy)
- Physiotherapy *** so very important to maintain muscle strength.
- Swim therapy
- Family counseling
- Therapeutic Recreation
- Ongoing care expenses
Journey of Love - Commisso Family
Due to the many needs and lack of income, both Tony and Sonia are unable to work, the Commisso’s are in dire need of financial support.
An “In-Trust Fund” has been set up for ALESSIA COMMISSO
Donations can be made to any TD Canada Trust Bank
Branch #1741, Account #6355262
Or make cheques payable to Sonia Commisso
We feel that Alessia’s progress is a result of the countless prayers, along with the emotional and financial support from family members, our friends and the community.
Most of us cannot understand what it takes to endure the emotional challenges faced by this family coupled with the financial burden in the efforts of living day to day to strive for a normal life. However, through all these struggles and heartaches, the family has persevered in faith, love and hope. They feel blessed to have so many family members and friends who take care of them and pray for them. They bring new meaning to the phrase, “I cried when I had no shoes until I met someone with no feet!” It is truly inspiring. Please keep this family in your daily prayers.
A Facebook page has been set up for Alessia, go to: PRAY FOR ALESSIA COMMISSO. Please join together with us to storm the heavens with prayers
The strength, I have witnessed in Sonia Commisso is unbelievable. Every Sunday, the family is sitting in the front row at Saint Patrick's church. Her faith and positive attitude is something I have never seen before. Her incredible love for her family, her ability to take on each day with hope, love and faith leaves many people including myself wondering how she does it. Somehow she does. I believe that Sonia is a living angel whom God blessed this beautiful family with.