Republicans including Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno — the GOP nominee for New Jersey governor — gathered at the Dublin House in Red Bank on Tuesday night to raise funds for Rob Cressen, the former executive director of the New Jersey Republican State Committee who is currently battling a health condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
CRPS is a progressive nervous system disease that is characterized by severe, chronic pain resulting from injury. Cressen, 46, has been battling CRPS for six years. The pain started after he broke his leg competing in a triathalon. He is now in a wheelchair.
Prior to his injury, Cressen led the staff of the state GOP under governors Christie Whitman and Chris Christie. He also once held a position at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and is a the former head of the Ocean County Republican Party.
“Before CRPS, I was at the heights of both my professional career and my competitive career as a marathoner/triathlete,” Cressen wrote on his GoFundMe page. “All of this has been taken by this disease.”
As an Ocean County Republican, Cressen has deep ties to the heavily Republican region of the state. Other attendees at Tuesday’s fundraiser included Sen. Joe Kyrillos, former Assemblyman Scott Rudder and NJ GOP spokesman Kevin Israel.
“Rob has been a friend for years, and friends support friends,” Guadagno said.
Funds raised at Tuesday’s event will help Cressen pay for ongoing medical care.