Parents of hospitalized Dansville teen appreciate ongoing community support

Support for Zaiden

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The family of the hospitalized Dansville teenager who has a whole town behind him said they are doing the best they can.

Zaiden Vandurme-Blackmon is a senior at Dansville High School. For the last eleven days, he’s been in the hospital battling sepsis, a potentially deadly condition.

Zaiden and his family are at Golisano Children’s Hospital and doing the best they can. While this is every parent’s nightmare, the Vandurme-Blackmon family has just about everyone they know from Dansville behind them. They said they’ve been getting a ton of messages, donations, and support from their community.

A few weeks ago, Zaiden came down with a cold that just seemed to get worse and worse. Eventually, he was admitted to Golisano’s Children’s Hospital. His parents found out he had sepsis and, that he would need emergency brain surgery.

But it’s been made easier thanks to all the love from folks back home.

So far, the honor roll student is only about a week behind in school. But recovery could take months and leave lasting damage.

“He was talking before all this, to Alfred University, their football coach to get a scholarship to play football. So, it’s just scary, it’s scary, said mom Leslee Vandurme.

When asked what the family would say to the Dansville community, Vandurme said, “We love you, and thank you. Yeah, thank you, they’ve been amazing. It’s nothing short of fantastic.”

Thursday night the family is moving from a hotel to the Ronald McDonald House, so they can stay in Rochester.

The local nonprofit Dansville Strong has a spaghetti dinner planned to help fundraise for Zaiden on the 28th. Their goal is for Zaiden to be well enough to attend.

Find out how to support the VanDurme-Blackmon family, visit their FaceBook page here. 

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