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Fair Lawn Christmas Tree Sales Aid Disease-Fighting Leider Brothers

Justin and Jason Leider of Elmwood Park are battling Hunter Syndrom.
Justin and Jason Leider of Elmwood Park are battling Hunter Syndrom. Photo Credit: Jeff Leider

FAIR LAWN, N.J. – When Jeff Leider brought his family to pick out a Christmas tree at American Nursery in Fair Lawn last year, they got a Christmas surprise.

“I was in total shock,” Leider said, after learning the nursery was donating 10 percent of the sales of Christmas trees toward helping his sons, Jason, now 11, and Justin, now 8, both of whom are battling Hunter syndrome, a rare genetic disease.

Now, for the second holiday season in a row, American Nursery is again donating a portion of sales to the boys. Those who want a portion of their purchases to go toward the cause should mention Jason and Justin or the Let Them Be Little X2 Foundation.

Caring for the boys can get expensive for Leider who owns a landscaping business and his wife Deena, a teacher in Garfield.

“Everything that goes on in our world is always times two,” Leider said. “Two boys that are sick, two boys that need a bag of candy, two boys that need a pull-up on. … Everything is doubled.”

For four years, the boys have been taking part in a clinical trial, where they receive special enzymes to help them survive. Leider said his sons are doing well in the trial, but the treatment still must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Most with Hunter syndrome live into their teens.

“We try to be as strong as we can for the boys. We don’t let it consume us,” Leider said. “But it is a battle. It is a struggle every single day.”

He said people like the owner of American Nursery help them through. “Thank God we have people like Gary amongst others that do whatever they can from their hearts for us to make our day a little bit easier,” he said.

American Nursery is at 5-16 Saddle River Road in Fair Lawn.

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