Trimper family starts foundation for MLD

Jane Trimper said that her children were “perfectly normal” two years ago.

Then she noticed that her son, Max, started having coordination problems at age 7.

On October 25, 2002, Max was diagnosed with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, a recessive genetic disorder that affects about one in 100,000 and causes mental and physical deterioration, which ultimately leads to death.

Jeff and Jane Trimper’s two other children, Maddie, 5, and Sam, 4, had a 25 percent chance of getting the disorder and were also diagnosed.

All three Trimper children received stem cell transplants last year.

Both Jeff and Jane, who are teachers in Stanton and graduates of CMU, have been off from work for about two years between them because of their childrens’ disorders.

Jane Trimper stays at home to take care of the children and said that the disorder has really had an impact on the family. “It’s totally changed us. We live day to day.”

Maddie and Sam are now symptom-free, but Max, now 8, is in a wheelchair and has speech and coordination problems.

There is no cure for MLD and a stem cell transplant is the only treatment.

Jeff and Jane Trimper wanted to raise money for further research on the disorder to help Max and other children and asked their doctor, “How much is going to make a difference?”

The Trimper Children Foundation was started through the Saginaw Community Foundation to raise money for two, two-year fellowships.

For the fellowships, there will be two doctors for two years, working solely on leukodystrophy research.

In less than three weeks, the Trimpers surpassed their goal of raising $50,000.

Jane Trimper is amazed at the support that the fellowship is receiving.

“It’s amazing,” Jane Trimper said. “Truthfully, we’ve already made our goal. People have really carried us.”

The Trimper Children Foundation started raising money for the fellowships by the Web site,

The Trimper family asked for the commitment of two years from people/teams to raise $1,000 each this year and $1,000 for the next year.

So far, the Trimpers have 100 partners involved with the cause.

“People have just raised money,” Jeff Trimper said. “It’s been overwhelming.”

Through the foundation, the family has gotten to know other families with MLD children.

“We’ve always wanted to do something,” Trimper said. “We’re not going to end with this.”

The research will take place at Duke University, where Maddie and Sam had their stem cell transplants.

The first fellowship is to start in July of this year.

Carolyn Moeggenberg, Co-Chairman of the Rhode/Trimper Family Fund, said that the fund has received a total of $14,000 so far by family, friends, and citizens of Remus.

A Make-a-Wish bowling tournament took place this year at the Remus Bowling Center, which raised about $10,000 for the cause.

“Quite a few people have committed to getting this going,” Moeggenberg said.

Moeggenberg has gotten to know the Trimper family, especially Max.

“He’s just the most beautiful little guy,” Moeggenberg said. “His eyes just tell you everything.”

Donations for the cause can be sent to: Trimper Family Foundation, c/o Saginaw Community Foundation, 100 S. Jefferson, Suite 201, Saginaw, MI 48607.

Donations can also be sent to: Rhode/Trimper Family Fund: Isabella Bank and Trust, 220 W. Wheatland Ave, Remus, MI, 49340. Contact Carolyn Moeggenberg at (989) 644-2396 with any questions.


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