Golf tourney helping Chandler dad beset by poor health - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Golf tourney helping Chandler dad beset by poor health

April 26th, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Golf tourney helping Chandler dad beset by poor health
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By SanTan Sun News Staff

An Ahwatukee Realtor and her team are sponsoring a golf tournament to help the Chandler brother of a coworker who has struggled to care for his two daughters despite a life beset by a series of health issues.

Realtor Lisa Wunder was moved by the plight of Raphael “Raffy” Torre, whose health issues began at birth in 1985 and have included two kidney transplants and two corneal transplants.

She is sponsoring a golf tournament that begins at 7:30 a.m. May 14 at Foothills Golf Club in Ahwatukee to raise money for the single father of Layla, 10, and Milania, 8, and is seeking both players and sponsors. Information about the tournament is at rallyforraffy.com.

Torre’s mother wrote a heartfelt plea for her son, recalling that on the day he was born, “It was supposed to be a joyous day, getting a son to hold in my arms, but instead code blue happened and for that, he was rushed to another room. All I saw was a baby boy all blue and limp.”

His shoulders got stuck in the birth canal and because he was pulled out, his lungs collapsed and he suffered brachial plexus in his right arm, forcing him to stay one month in intensive care and undergo physical therapy until he was 9 months old.

“In no time at all, Raffaele starts school and he gets diagnosed with ADD – which meant struggles in school,” his mother continued. “Later he gets a full-time job, works hard and gets his own apartment and buys a car.  He is responsible in all he does.”

Then, at age 19, Torre’s kidneys shut down. He received a kidney from his sister after six months of dialysis three times a week. Ten years later, however, he lost the use of that kidney when he was stricken with double pneumonia.

Placed on a waiting list for a new kidney, he finally got a new organ last year. But his medical problems didn’t end there: He has undergone three corneal transplant operations in his right eye.

“We all hope and pray this one works out,” said Wunder, adding that “being in and out of the hospital these last 17 years has taken a toll on Raffy physically, emotionally, and financially.”

“In our world of real estate, we often are exposed to the deepest levels of our people’s personal lives,” she said. “After all, what is more personal than walking into some one’s home – let alone their finances?”

“His history is filled with hope for the future, a testament to the love of a family, a tale of personal sacrifice by so many,” she said, describing Torre as “gracious, gregarious, and grateful.”

“Raffi’s story is an inspiration for all,” Wunder said. “A young man plagued by kidney failure before he was out of high school. The family gathered round with faith, action and hope. Each member willing was tested for an organ match.”

“I am compelled to do something, anything in an effort to rebalance the scales of life for Raffi,” she said.

She recalled the adage “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. To teach a man to fish, he eats for the rest of his days.”.

Wunder added:  “How many other ponds, lakes and rivers could Raffi have fished from if he was not tethered to dialysis?”

Torre’s mother said her granddaughters keep her son going.

“No matter how sick he was, he always took care of his girls,” she said. “There were so many times where Raffaele was wanting to give up, but the enormous love that he had for those two girls pushed him to continue.”

“He lives for his daughters and he wishes he could do more,” his mother added. “Anyone that knows Raffaele will say that he has the cleanest heart and soul and would give you the shirt off his back. If anyone deserves help, it is him.”

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