TJ Rufty

Burkett’s Lymphoma

TJ Rufty's Bio

T.J (Thomas James) Rufty is a 2013 graduate from Middletown High School in Middletown, MD. Three weeks before his graduation, he suddenly became severely ill and was diagnosed with Burkett’s Lymphoma, a rare and aggressive subtype of Diffuse Large B-Cell non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Johns Hopkins Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in Baltimore, MD. T.J. could not attend his graduation because he was and remains in critical care on a breathing ventilator, barely conscious and receiving intensive chemo-therapy. His Mother, Deborah Haberkorn and his 9 year old brother, William accepted T.J.’s diploma on his behalf. He turned 19 on June 7th, the same day he developed Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome (MODS) and began dialysis. The Doctors say, “Prepare for an ugly battle and a long-term residence in the PICU, T.J. is ‘very sick’”.

T.J. resides with his mother, Debbie Haberkorn, his step-father, Will Haberkorn, his 21 year old sister, Callie, 9 year old brother, William and his grandfather, Edward Dowling. As a young boy, T.J. could talk to anyone about anything with ease, nick-named, “Little Mayor”. Today, his step-father, Will Haberkorn gave him his special nick-name, “TOJO”. Friends and neighbors around the Middletown community know him as the “Town Strength” because T.J. was the one to call to move anything heavy. T.J. participated in Track his sophomore and junior years in High School. During his senior year, he managed the Cross Country Track Team. In February of 2013, he was recognized as, “Student of the Week” for receiving good grades.

His mother, Debbie Haberkorn says, “It takes a village to raise a child and Middletown has been our village. We are thankful. Every day, T.J. teaches us that through all of life’s tough challenges, we push forward, love unconditionally and know we are blessed. We take things day-by-day and try to prepare for anything. Words cannot express how grateful we are for everyone’s love, prayers and support.

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Important Announcement from Debbie Williams - Click to Read

Hello I’m Debbie Williams and I’m trying to give you a small description of what it’s been to serve the Lord through the PATTY POLLATOS FUND the last 27 years. There’s no way that I could put everyone that was involved in this 18 minute clip but I wanted you to see what a miraculous job our Lord has done to serve people not only in this community but where ever it was needed in our world.  Key donors that believed in our mission from the start such as Wayne Fox & Stacy Collins PNC Bank , Tom Netelli, Dan & Mary Sipe , Airport View Signs, Keeney Basford Funeral Home , Criswell, Sam Hall, Marks Equipment just to name a few – all knew that – One Person Can Make a Difference but together we changed the world.

Click to view the 2019 PPF FFF Final after 27 years of Service
Thanks to Craig Shipp for making this video possible!

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