AP NEWS

Mismatched-shoe day to benefit Greenwich youngster

March 22, 2019

GREENWICH — If you see someone wearing a pair of mismatched shoes or socks in Greenwich early April, it won’t be by mistake.

The mixed-up shoe day on April 4 is part of some zany fun aimed at raising money for a good cause. The “Mismatched Shoe Day” will raised funds for research into Vanishing White Matter disease (VWM) rare neurological condition that erodes myelin, the brain’s white matter.

Eight-year-old Sam Buck of Greenwich has been diagnosed with the condition, and he often wears mismatched shoes when he heads to Glenville School in his wheelchair — a cowboy boot and a sneaker, typically.

“A few months ago, he just started wearing mismatched shoes to school everyday,” said his mother, Allyson Buck, “We wanted to come up with a fun fundraiser that people would get behind, so this was it. And the schools will have a field day with it.”

Participants are being asked to donate $10 to the VWM Families Foundation, and snap a picture. The photos can be tagged to @vwmff and @samvsvwm. The foundation funds VWM research projects and supports families living with VWM with critical expenses not covered by insurance.

The Glenville community has been supportive of Sam as he copes with the disease. In 2015, he rode to school in a bright red sports car, thanks to a loan from a local car dealer. He and his family took a trip to see a Formula One race in Texas, made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

His mother said Sam was managing — “he’s doing alright, and he’s still happy,” she said.

It will be morale boost on April 4 — “it will be nice to see the support.” A number of other local schools are taking part in the Mismatched Shoe Day event.

Vanishing White Matter Disease is an extremely rare ailment, affecting about 250 kids in the world. Researchers are working in Tel Aviv and Amsterdam to gain a better understanding of how the disease operates.

Head injuries are especially harmful for youngsters who have the illness, so Sam wears a helmet at all times.

The event will be a national one.