When millions of people saw Ari’s video as it went viral the day of his transplant we were immediately flooded with media inquiries. For two reasons we still have not spoken to any press yet. First, we were (and are) focused on Ari. Second, we are sensitive to the fact that a family had lost a child, and yet, during a time of immense grief, chose to give the gift of life.
We didn’t feel comfortable speaking with anyone.
In the few minutes we talked to each other about it, we asked ourselves, “If we have 15 minutes of fame, what do we want to do with it?” We didn’t have an answer.
We do now.
We are going to try to save 100,000 lives.
And when I say we, I mean you! We need help from all of you. Keep reading to find out how.
When we were first told Ari needed a heart, we learned there are not enough organ donors. Ari was given an 80% chance of surviving the wait because it could be so long and he was so sick.
When Ari went inpatient we met two-year-old Chase. Ari and Chase were referred to on the cardiac floor as “the boys”. Both Ari and Chase were waiting for hearts. We usually shared the same nurse. Ari and Chase could both be found most days cruising the floor on their tricycles.
Chase is now in the cardiac intensive care unit on life support. He’s still waiting for a heart.
So are other people of all ages everywhere waiting for hearts and organs of all types.
Here are some facts:
- 118,000 people are waiting for an organ donation in the United States
- Another person is added to the wait list every 10 seconds
- 22 people die each day waiting for organs
- While 95% of people are in favor of becoming organ donors, only 54% are registered
- Can save up to 8 lives
- Restore sight to 2 people
- Heal the lives of 75 people with their tissue
It’s natural to think, “Well, we can’t do anything about this.” At least not in a big way. But, as Wayne Gretzky said, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Let’s take a shot.
We’ve started a campaign to save 100,000 lives. Our #100kLives campaign goal is to get 12,500 people who are currently not registered to be organ donors to do so.
If you are an organ donor or not, go to https://echoofhope.org/100klives/ to help. If you are a donor, you can help spread the news. If you aren’t, you can register and save lives! It takes one minute to register and you can do it online.
We know how lovable Ari is. When his video went viral it was cool.
When we lost our house to mold at the same time Ari was rejecting his new heart, the support and social media sharing was humbling.
Now we can do something that can truly change the world, saving 8 lives at a time. But we can’t do it without you.
Please go to https://echoofhope.org/100klives/ and either take the one minute needed to register to be an organ donor (and then share on social media), or simply help us spread the word.
It’s been a hard world recently. The news hasn’t exactly been uplifting.
Let’s change that. Let’s take a shot.
We are completely amazed by the shows of financial and housing support for us when we lost everything. We have a great team working on building a safe and comfortable new house similar to our old one right on the same spot.
People asked us why we didn’t just move. We thought about it, but we couldn’t leave Ari’s Make a Wish basketball court with him still in the hospital.
If you want to help with the house rebuild in any way (we still need goods and services) contact Dan James at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-844-5688. Or help here through Youcaring.
Ari has been breathing on his own since April 15 at 10:40 a.m.
He’s pretty stoned on all the narcotics he needed to keep him pain free and paralyzed while he was on life support. It’s going to take a while to wean off. Ari’s cardiologist said, “He might go to first grade on methadone, but I’ll still consider it a victory.”
His heart took quite the assault during the arrest, CPR, and life support. It’s wait-and-see on how it will recover, but the doctors are hopeful. Right now it doesn’t look great, but it doesn’t look too bad either.
His real enemy will be rejection. This fight is still in front of him. In the ICU we can stop rejection cold, but eventually medications Ari can take at home have to start holding the line. His anti-rejection regimen here forward will be intense. How it all turns out is up to Ari.
Meanwhile, he was watching the Red Sox play Tampa Bay on Saturday. He wasn’t saying much. When Corey Dickerson hit a home run for the Rays, Ari said, “Oh maaan.” We just watched the teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode 8. I asked him, “You remember Episode 8 right?” He said, “Yeah, The Last Jedi.”
And we got our first smiles today.
That’s my boy.