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West Milford Rallies For Ballplayer, 18, Who Fell 'Ill Almost Overnight'

Matthew Rizza, center, of West Milford, is battling health problems.
Matthew Rizza, center, of West Milford, is battling health problems. Photo Credit: GoFundMe

WEST MILFORD, N.J. – An 18-year-old West Milford baseball player is battling health problems and his community is rallying around him.

In December, 2016, Matthew Rizza “became extremely ill almost overnight. He had difficulty breathing, horrible reflux, heartburn, and brainfog,” followed by extreme food sensitivities, according to a GoFundMe page his mother Jeannie created to raise money for his care.

“Sometimes in life circumstances come our way that are so heartbreaking and difficult there's no other option but to ask for help,” she wrote.

Rizza was diagnosed with a Lyme coinfection called Babesia as well as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome caused from Biotoxin Illness, the page states.

“Once he was infected with this coinfection it compromised his immune system and now he’s pretty much ‘allergic’ to the world,” the page states.

“Matts an extremely difficult case but we have great confidence and hope that he will beat this,” his mother wrote.

More than $11,000 had been raised for Matthew by Tuesday afternoon.

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