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Kathy’s Story

Find out more about Kathy and who inspires her to host this annual fundraiser that supports CJD research.

My world was forever changed on September 23, 2012. My husband, Bobby Esposito, was taken by CJD at the age of 47. One day at the hospital he had asked me, “Please pray to St. Jude that he gives the doctors the wisdom to find the cure.” He passed away just three weeks after his diagnosis.

CJD is one of the most insidious diseases one can experience. It strips all control and hope, leaving one helpless. I established Espo’s Hope because I am passionate about fulfilling Bobby’s wish of finding a treatment and cure by raising awareness and helping families who are affected by CJD.

Espo’s Night of Hope for CJD is an annual evening of wine and cheese, dining, entertainment and various fundraising activities, including a live and silent auction, basket raffle and other various raffles. Each year, a theme is selected, and the venue is transformed into Fall Fest, Winter Wonderland and more. The event features keynote speakers on the topic of CJD, a memory wall of CJD family members, and a guest of honor to assist us with the live auction. Each attendee receives a thank you gift with CJD branding to help us create awareness; we’ve provided silicone bands, tote bags, wine glasses, and other items.

I feel a great sense of accomplishment holding this annual event. It allows us to be in control, not CJD. It allows me to fulfill Bobby’s wish by creating awareness and raising funds so that one day a treatment and cure will be found. What an amazing feeling knowing you are making a difference so hopefully, one day, no other family will have to experience the devastating effects of CJD.

My advice to other families who plan to host a fundraiser is:

  • Make sure you have the passion to see it through.
  • Organize your committee and delegate responsibilities.
  • Seek out advice from others who have held fundraisers.
  • Use the Internet to research fundraising events, websites and resources. There’s no need to reinvent things someone else is already using successfully.