A Levittown teenager with a genetic disorder that causes tumors has raised more than $80,000 over the past six years to help find a cure.
Bailey Gribben, a Division Avenue High School senior, has undergone 14 surgeries stemming from neurofibromatosis since his diagnosis when he was in the fifth grade. The disorder disturbs cell growth in the nervous system and causes tumors to form on nerve tissue.
Gribben, 17, has coordinated 15 fundraisers to benefit the Children's Tumor Foundation (CTF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to those affected by the disorder. The largest was a 2013 dinner at Jackie Reilly's Restaurant in Bethpage.
"I can't even believe how successful we've been," said Gribben, who credits his mother, Anita, for helping spread the word about his events. "Her secret power is Facebook. She's friends with everyone in the NF community."
He also has raised money through sale of foundation T-shirts and bracelets and a webpage through which people can make pledges.
Gribben was named a CTF ambassador in 2013 and had his own Bailey Gribben Day at Division Avenue on Nov. 1, 2013.
"Through his bravery and determination, Bailey has proven to be an inspiration to the Division Avenue and Levittown communities," Principal Joan Lorelli said.
Gribben is president of his school's National Honor Society and fundraising officer of the Student Council.