Farmington Hills native Michael Rubenstein was just 11 years old when he got tired of waiting for a Crohn's disease cure.
Now a 20-year-old student at Northwood University in Midland, Rubenstein is preparing to host his sixth dinner to raise funds for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). The event happens April 26, at the Great Hall Banquet and Convention Center in Midland.
"I did the first fundraiser because I was just basically sick of waiting around for something to happen," he said. "I wanted to help find a cure."
Rubenstein had been diagnosed just two years earlier with the disease, which according to the CCFA website can cause severe abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, fatigue and other symptoms. His health now is "not the best," he said. This summer, he will undergo surgery to remove a portion of his bowel.
Through ticket sales, silent auctions and the sale of promotional products, Rubenstein's fund-raising efforts have netted about $20,000 for CCFA, which aims to find cures for cures for Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. He expects 300 to 600 people at this year's event, which his Northwood classmates and advisers are helping to organize.
Keynote speaker for the event is former Mr. Universe and CCFA national spokesman Peter Nielsen. Rubenstein will speak as well, and those in the audience will learn more about his disease.
"I started off just wanting to raise funds," he said. "Now, it's about spreading awareness and helping people."
Learn more about Rubenstein and his fundraiser at michaelrubensteinfundraiser.com