CHARITIES: TRC going all out for Izzy | North Oakland Sports

CHARITIES: TRC going all out for Izzy

| July 31, 2015 | Comments (0)

Matt Moscato Golf Outing on

deck for desperate candidate






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ROCHESTER HILLS — Izzy Smith endured a lingering, six-week battle with bronchitis and sinus infection in the fall of 2012. Once those unpleasantries conceded, the then-12-year-old was still left with a constant headache that would not go away.

In recent years, the struggles continued, which has left her family seeking help from various doctors and facilities in the medical profession from all points on the compass. She has visited multiple specialists at the University of Michigan Hospital, Beaumont Hospital, and the Michigan Head and Neurological Institute, among others.

While many of her friends have been enjoying life in their teenage years, Izzy has been forced to undergo legions of tests — MRIs, MRAs, MRVs, EEGs, heart tests, blood work, nerve blocks in her temples, forehead and back of her head … and even tried Botox injections.

Normal conditions have even included spinal taps, dozens of medications and even a short stint in the hospital the week of her 15th birthday party. Izzy has not had a normal life over the past four years, and the mystery of her long-term headaches have baffled many in the medical profession.

The Thomas Richards Charity is stepping up to the plate to help.

“She’s been in pretty bad shape,” said Tim Ciotti, a 1989 graduate of Rochester High and one of the founders of the charity, which he started in memory of a former classmate. “We want to help, like we do every year (with a different charity).”

Since 2012, the Smiths have paid close to $1,400 a month in insurance fee alone, not to mention travel expenses transporting Izzy to and from various medical facilities.

Enter Dr. Bardia Amirlak, M.D., from Texas. A visit to Dallas in February 2015 and two appointments with the Dr. Amirlak later and Izzy began to feel some relief for the first time in over three years.

The first appointment provided some three hours of pain-free relief. The second appointment for Izzy, now 16, saw her receive a specialized, deep botox injection in various spots of her cranium and neck just to enjoy a headache free day.

Surgery is next on the docket, a decompression surgery scheduled for this fall that is aimed to cure Izzy of her nagging ailments. Unfortunately, the procedure is not covered by her family’s health insurance policy.

That has led Izzy to be the latest recipient of donations raised by the Thomas Richards Charity, which began in 2008 to help local families or individuals in need. Proceeds from this summer’s event will go towards Izzy’s surgery and any other upcoming medical and travel expenses.

The TRC ( ) will host the annual Matt Moscoto Golf Outing in support of helping Izzy to become pain free. The event will take place on July 31 at Sylvan Glen Golf Course in Troy. The eighth-annual scramble golf outing normally takes place the last Friday of July each year and is often coordinated with various Rochester High School class reunions, as the Class of 1990 will hold its 25th reunion the day after on Aug. 1.

“We have around 120 golfers registered (as of July 28) and dozens of volunteers,” said Ciotti. “This is a lot bigger than last year.”

Moscato, a 1989 Rochester grad and close friends of Ciotti and several board members of the TRC, was killed in a motorcycle accident in California on June 12, 2005 ( ). Thomas Richards was the name of the clothing line once owned by the late Moscato and is now used as the name of the charity in his memory.

Izzy Smith will be the much-deserved honoree this year’s fundraiser.

An after-hours party will be held at the Rochester Hills Buffalo Wild Wings beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, as BWW is one of the main donors to the annual charity, a 501(c)3 organization. Nearly 60 companies help out each year with donations, volunteer work, hole sponsorships or silent auction item giveaways ( ).

Additional donations can be made to TRC’s Paypal account at To reach TRC on any of its fundraisers, to nominate future causes or to reach for media purposes, email, call (248) 961-6400 or mail to P.O. Box 82114, Rochester, Michigan, 48308.

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About Dan Stickradt: DAN STICKRADT | SENIOR EDITOR View author profile.

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