ORLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- A southwest suburban community is coming together to support a single mother who just lost her second child, an 11-year-old son, to a genetic disorder.
Red ribbons are tied around trees across Orland Park to show support for Aggie Boruc, who has now lost both of her children to Alagille syndrome.
"Now I know it just wasn't me and him. He was loved by so many other people," she said.
Physically, all that's left of 11-year-old Adrian Boruc are the pictures showing the mile-wide smile that lit up the lives of his friends and family. Before his death, his mother said Adrian knew the end was near as the complications of Aligalle syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that wreaks havoc with the developing heart and liver, took over.
In life it made him smaller than his peers, but brighter in his ability to teach them about what's important - especially after last Christmas when he fought to recover through three open heart surgeries, only to find his liver and kidneys failing.
"Constantly he would be telling me how much he loves me, to a point where I finally asked him, 'Why are you acting like that?'" his mother said. "I just want to let you know I love you so much and I will always miss you - and that was the thing I thought, why is this child acting like that?"
He never returned to school in the new year, but his friends decorated his locker every day and reached out.
"He was not shy about talking about his illness and educating in helping kids understand that every kid is different and has struggles and challenges," said Century Junior High School Principal Brian Horn.
Aggie lost her daughter to the same syndrome in 2002 at the age of 2. She takes some solace in feeling Adrian is with her now, teaching us from above.
"He put up such a fight and I know he did this for me," Boruc said. "I told him, 'No-noosh' - because that's what I called him - 'It's OK, just go. I will be fine.' That was the time he took his last breath and passed."
Adrian's funeral is planned for Friday. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help his mother with the expenses.
Orland Park rallies around single mom who lost both children to Alagille syndrome
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