Community Fires Up Support: BBQ Fundraiser This Weekend for Eastex Firefighter's Son Aiming for Life-Altering Surgery
Source: Jennifer Nelson

Community Fires Up Support: BBQ Fundraiser This Weekend for Eastex Firefighter's Son Aiming for Life-Altering Surgery

April 27 2024

In an inspiring demonstration of community spirit and unity, firefighters from across the Houston region are rallying to support a brave little boy and his family. Tristan, a 22-month-old boy burdened with a rare disorder, Sturge Webers Syndrome, faces an uphill battle against numerous health challenges. His parents, both devoted firefighters at Eastex Fire Department, are in desperate need of financial assistance to help save their son's life.

Amidst his trials, Tristan is not alone. The First Responder family from multiple local fire departments in the North/Northwest and Westside Houston areas have banded together in an event aptly named 'Team Tristan.' Even reaching as far as Katy, Tristan's story has also touched the heart of Jason Tharp, Public Information Officer for HCESD48 in the Katy area, and a close friend of Tristan's mother, Jennifer Nelson.

Sturge Webers Syndrome is a rare disorder, with Tristan currently the only known child in the Greater Houston area afflicted by it. The syndrome has saddled Tristan with frequent seizures, developmental delays, cognitive impairment, and migraines, among other challenges. Despite his tender young age, Tristan has already braved six medical procedures, with his seizures escalating in severity and frequency.

Tristan with his mother, Jennifer Nelson, in ICU on April 25, 2024 with seizures and fever, making slight progress
with new treatments and awaiting surgery consultation with a neurosurgeon. (Source: Jennifer Nelson)

To offer Tristan a chance at a seizure-free life, a life-altering surgery known as a hemispherectomy is scheduled for this summer. This uncommon procedure involves the removal or disconnection of half of the patient's brain. Despite its drastic nature, it has been proven highly successful, with more than 80% of children rendered completely seizure-free post-surgery.

Yet, the challenges that lie ahead are daunting. Even with insurance, the medical costs are staggering and the worry and uncertainty weigh heavily on Tristan’s family. For the first time as parents, Jennifer and her spouse are seeking support from their community.

Today, hope emanates from Eastex Fire Department, as it hosts a BBQ Fundraiser for Tristan. From 10:30 AM until sell-out, at 14415 Old Humble Rd, Humble, TX 77396, the fundraiser promises pre-orders for delicious sandwich plates prepared by Moonswiners Barbecue, which is locally owned by Chuck Edwards, a firefighter with HCESD48. Organized by HCESD48 Community Risk Reduction, Extreme Offroad and Katy Area Safety Fest, several local fire departments will be present, and residents across the Greater Houston Area are invited to unite in support little Tristan.

Then on Sunday, April 28, a second event for Team Tristan is set to take place from 10am to 2pm in Katy at Extreme Offroad and Performance, located at 20235 Katy Freeway, Suite A, Katy, Texas, 77450. This event will feature a Car Show hosted by Extreme Offroad, with Moonswiners Barbecue donating their time and Pit Boss to prepare and serve delicious brisket sandwich plates. There is a $20 entry fee for show vehicles, with all proceeds supporting Team Tristan. Attendees can look forward to raffle prizes, a silent auction, and tasty barbecue plates.

The support does not have to stop there. A GoFundMe page has been set up for Tristan's upcoming surgery. Any amount, however small, will make a world of difference to Tristan and his family. If you would like to make a financial contribution, please visit:

Let's rally behind this courageous little boy and his family and show them that in the face of adversity, their village is right beside them.

By Tiffany Krenek, My Neighborhood News 
Tiffany Krenek, authorTiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.


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