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West Haven candle company looks to find cure for rare kidney condition

SOUTHINGTON -  One new company is using their love of making soy candles to find a cure for a rare kidney condition.

Jordan and Jennifer Crooms are dedicated to removing as many chemicals from their household as they can, so they started A Little Soy Candle Company out of their home in West Haven. Soy candles burn cleaner and longer than traditional paraffin wax candles. They are made from the oil in soybeans.

They do it for their 3-year-old daughter, Tatum, who suffers from a rare kidney condition called Nephrotic Syndrome.

"[W]hich is basically when the kidneys stop filtering properly and causes a host of different problems," says Jordan Crooms, Tatum's dad and the co-founder of A Little Soy Candle Company.

20% of the profits from their soy candles go to NephCure, a Pennsylvania based non-profit dedicated to researching a cure for the condition. Right now, Tatum's condition is manageable with temporary medications, but it could lead to the need for a kidney transplant.

According to NephCure only two-to-four out of every 100,000 children in North America are diagnosed with it each year.

"It's kind of frustrating because we really just don't know what is actually happening," says Crooms.

The company has already grown since it was founded in February. The couple has now had to move the company from their home in West Haven, to Jordan's mother's house in Southington. They're hoping to grow even more.

"We're not just a candle company. We also have a very ambitious vision," says Crooms.

They want to donate 80% of their profits by the year 2030 to NephCure. They also want to move the company out of Jordan's mother's house and into their own retail location. It's an ambitious goal, but one with a lot of support.

"It puts a lot of motivation in you, so with each candle you really think about that syndrome," says Tyler Crooms, Jordan's brother and Tatum's Uncle. He helps create the labeling and secure the candle wicks in each jar.

"[We want to] figure out a way to not only cure her, but thousands of children," says Jordan Crooms.

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