Local family grateful for support for son

Published: January 14, 2009  |  Source: gmnews.com
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Ken Majonis, 31, was paralyzed in accident; now convalescing at home

MARLBORO — The Majonis family of Marlboro saw a happy ending to 2008 and an early look into 2009 provides hope for the future.

Ken Majonis, 31, suffered spinal injuries that left him paralyzed from the waist down as the result of a dirt bike accident on Sept. 21 in Tinton Falls. Majonis was flown from the scene of the accident to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, where he underwent surgery to stabilize his shattered T-12 vertebrae.

Following the surgery, Majonis was transferred to the Kessler Rehabilitation Institute, West Orange. Majonis is a 1995 graduate of Marlboro High School and is a member of the IBEW Local 400 electrical union. He grew up in Marlboro with his parents, Carol and Eric Majonis, and his sisters, Michelle Shashoua and Andrea Majonis.

Carol Majonis previously told Greater Media Newspapers that family and friends had come forward to donate money to help offset her son’s rising medical costs. The family set up a fund in Ken’s name through the National Transplant Assistance Fund and Catastrophic Injury Program (NTAF). Estimated costs for the first year of paraplegia could cost almost $300,000, according to information provided by NTAF.

NTAF has been serving the transplant community for 25 years; in 2008 the organization expanded its mission to assist patients with spinal cord injuries. NTAF provides tax-deductible options and fiscal accountability to contributors. All contributions are administered by NTAF exclusively for injury-related expenses and contributions are earmarked for Majonis’ exclusive use and are available to pay for uninsured medical expenses and to assist with his recovery.

Majonis’ medical insurance has a cap of $25,000 for the type of injury he sustained. The average lifetime cost is between $697,163 and $1 million, depending upon the severity of the injury, according to NTAF.

A fundraiser was held on Dec. 14 at 7 Days Bar and Grill, Union Beach, and the event was a success, according to Carol Majonis. One of the day’s greatest joys was that Ken had been released from Kessler and was able to attend the event. He still travels to Kessler three times a week for outpatient therapy.

Majonis, a former Board of Education member, said several thousand dollars in donations were raised that day. The success of the event was also brought on by various local eateries that donated more than $2,000 worth of food.

Majonis expressed her thanks to ShopRite in Marlboro, Marlboro Pizza, Empire Szechuan, Emilio Pizza, Carlos Pizza, That’s Amore, the Park Place Diner in Matawan and 7 Days Bar and Grill for their food donations. Majonis also said Jerry and Harvey’s Deli in Marlboro made a generous donation to the contribution fund to NTAF.

Majonis said that since an article which announced the fundraiser for her son appeared in Greater Media Newspapers, the family has received even more support from the community. She said a Manalapan residentwho is a vice president with Movado donated a men’s watch to be raffled off during the fundraiser. Not only did that man provide the watch, but his department at Movado donated $1,060 to Ken Majonis’ fund instead of exchanging office holiday gifts.

Since being released from Kessler, Ken Majonis has moved back to his childhood home. The family had been trying to prepare improvements to their home to accommodate him. Majonis said a local architect saw the previous newspaper article and offered his services to help modify the family’s home.

The fund set up in Ken’s name has seen an increase in contributions from local individuals the family does not know. Majonis expressed her deepest gratitude to everyone who has assisted the family.

“While the economy is bad and our country is suffering, the kindness and generosity of the American people is very much alive. Although the tragedy of Ken’s accident has caused us much sorrow, it has also reminded us how lucky we are to have such wonderful family, friends and neighbors to help us through these difficult times,” Majonis said.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to the Ken Majonis fund may do so by sending a check to NTAF, 150 N. Radnor Chester Road, Suite F-120, Radnor, Pa. 19087. Make checks payable to NTAF Mid- Atlantic Spinal Cord Injury Fund and write “In Honor of Ken Majonis” in the memo section. Credit card contributions may be made by calling 800-642-8399 or by visiting www.catastrophicfund.org.

BY REBECCA MORTON Staff Writer