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Jessica Marrone Parkes and Jackie Schatell

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Letters to the Editor

Where Are They Now?!

LHS Grads’ Dream Comes True

MANHATTAN, NY - Marc Jarman, 45, (LHS Class of ’87), had a once in a lifetime experience on March 9— he met his favorite athlete Roger Federer, played tennis with World #11 Grigor Di...

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Community Announcements

Today's Events

Police Blotter

Livingston Police Department Conducts Two Investigations Involving Motor Vehicles

March 27, 2015

LIVINGSTON, NJ — According to the Livingston Police Department, two instances involving vehicles were reported during the week of March 21 through March 27. A Livingston resident&rsquo...

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Municipal Court News

East Orange Woman Charged with Credit Card Theft with Intent to Use

March 18, 2015

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston Municipal Court has charged East Orange Resident Myeisha Sturdivant, a Party City employee, with credit card fraud. The charge, originally amended to theft,...

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Press Releases

Columns

Admit U to College

Special Announcement: Admit U Consulting Now Offering Tutoring Services

Melanie and the Admit U Consulting team are excited to announce our latest business venture—our services are expanding to provide students with comprehensive college planning all under one...

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On the Aisle

'Cinderella' Brings Classic Disney Magic Back to the Screen

One of the biggest challenges that Disney's new iteration of Cinderella faced was convincing the audience that it deserved to be made in the first place.  This marks the studio's fo...

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Livingston Community Corner

LHS Students' Art Exhibited at 36th Annual NJ High School duCret School of Art Show

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Recently, a multi-media showcase of works by Livingston High School (LHS) artists was selected for an exhibit at the 36th Annual NJ High School duCret School of Art Show, with t...

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Y Works

YMCA Announces New, State-of-the-art Resistance Center to Open

LIVINGSTON, NJ – The West Essex YMCA in Livingston is holding a Grand Re-Opening of the Resistance Center on April 12 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. According to the Y, the Resistance Center...

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Sobel Solutions

Public Invited to Dress for Success' "Transforming Lives Gala" Honoring Sobel & Cos.' Mike LaForge

LIVINGSTON, NJ – Sobel & Co., a Livingston-based regional certified public accounting and consulting firm, has announced that on April 23, partner, Mike LaForge, will be the first man ...

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Golda Och Academy Corner

Seventh-Grade Students Apply Judaic Lessons to Golda Och Academy's Annual Tzedakah Fair

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Golda Och Academy’s seventh-graders participated in the annual Tzedakah Fair on March 17, showcasing their multimedia projects on charitable organizations for parents, fa...

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Discount Travel News

A Week in San Diego for $474

This week’s gem, The Gaslamp Plaza Suites is a historical, European style hotel built in 1913, and listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. As you walk in, observe the plaza...

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Real Estate

Livingston's Meredith Prescott to Hold Second Annual "Pump It Up For Platelets!" 5K Walk/Run at the Oval

By DANIELLE SANTOLA

May 16, 2014 at 11:42 PM

LIVINGSTON – Last summer, Livingston High School (LHS) Alumni Meredith Prescott spent her summer organizing a community 5-Kilometer Walk-A-Thon as a fundraiser for a blood disorder called Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). This year, Prescott has teamed up with fellow ITP patient and NJ ITP Support Group Facilitator Linda McGuirl to organize what they are hoping will become an annual “Pump It Up For Platelets!” Walk/Run at the Livingston Oval on Sunday, June 8.

ITP is an autoimmune disease that is fairly common but often ignored, where the body intensifies immune attacks that target and destroy an individual’s platelets. Prescott and McGuirl, 50, were both diagnosed with the disease at age 21 and have been heart-set on raising awareness and funding for the cause ever since.

Last year, family, friends and various local community members became active participants in support of the cause and ultimately raised more than $45,000. But because the Platelet Disorder Support Association (PDSA) is the sole organization fully supporting ITP, Prescott’s biggest hope for this year is to spread the word even further in order to raise the highest possible number, while also educating the community about the disorder.

“We don’t get government funding and it’s people’s lives on the line,” Prescott said. “We need to come together to spread awareness, raise money and find a cure.”

According to Prescott, ITP is unique because there is no right treatment for any one patient. She said it is heart-breaking for her to realize that children are passing away from this disease because not enough people understand or even recognize what it is, and lives go unnoticed as a result. The main difference between last year’s event and this year’s, she hopes, is that more people will understand the disease and recognize the significance of donating or attending.

“This blood disorder is devastating on every possible level,” Prescott said. “It breaks my heart when I talk to kids who have it because they are robbed of a childhood by living with a disease that no one has ever heard of.”

Recently, Prescott began blogging for the Huffington Post, where she talks about her disease in a post called “What’s Your Number? One Number Could Cost Your Life.” The blog itself discusses how ITP affects almost ten times as many people as hemophilia, yet almost no one knows anything about it.

“It is not genetic and does not discriminate against its victims, as ITP attacks those from all demographics,” she said. “The frustration of dealing with ITP and battling an unknown and unpredictable disease has been the catalyst for me to advocate and spread awareness to better the ITP community.”

Prescott’s blog certainly helps in raising awareness about the disease, but it is not enough. Prescott said partnering with Linda McGuirl, who has had the disease for 29 years, was her smartest decision moving forward because the duo is exceptionally driven and they both fully understand why it’s so necessary to hold these local events. Additionally, even though the ITP community is a small one and is at a disadvantage for funding, McGuirl also has connections to the community that could ultimately make all the difference in their effort.

During the time that McGuirl was diagnosed, there was very little information available about ITP. Despite her disease, McGuirl continued to follow her dreams and was able to have three healthy children, making it all the more vital for her to get the word out now.

McGuirl organized the same event in her own hometown of Basking Ridge, forming an immediate bond with Prescott, who organized the first ever “Pump it Up For Platelets!” event in Livingston. The two will combine their efforts on Sunday, June 8, at what they hope will be the biggest ITP walk/run event since its inception in 2010.

Some of the event’s sponsors include but are not limited to: the Carchia Group, Morgan Stanley and HCHY, with food and drink generously provided by Livingston Bagel and Starbucks.

Having the opportunity to raise awareness about this unrecognized and uncommon disease is Prescott’s main inspiration in co-hosting the event. Those interested can pre-register, make a donation or find more information at http://pdsa.donorpages.com/PumpItUpNJ2014/. Prescott’s blog on ITP can also be found at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meredith-prescott/whats-your-number_b_5307242.html

“Don't let your compassion stop at wishing to see others free from suffering,” Prescott said. “Do something.”

Registration is $20 for adults and $10 for children. Prescott shared her optimism that her story will encourage other patients to speak up and share their own stories so a cure can be found. Registration/Check-in will begin at noon and the event will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Livingston Oval on Sunday, June 8.