I never knew the feeling prior to becoming a parent, but once you have children, there is nothing more important - nor terrifying - than the health and well-being of your little ones. My wife and I have been fortunate to have had no major issues thus far, but for so many others, the journey has been much harder. You always hear the saying "the struggle is real," and for one family near Boston, indeed - the struggle is not only very real, but a series of battles that started before the birth of their son, Ari "Danger" Schultz. Their little guy was identified as having heart issues while still in the womb, and he soon became the first person to ever undergo two successful heart surgeries before birth. Now four years old, Ari just received a new heart this month (after 211 days on the waiting list) and is going through some harsh "rejection" as his body works to accept his new organ. As if being entrenched in an ongoing war for their son's life wasn't enough (in addition to raising other children), Ari's family was dealt another blow when they recently found that their home is a "tear-down" thanks to extensive water damage, black mold and fungus. Sadly, their insurance will hardly cover it, and because of that, a GoFundMe account has been established to help them on their way. Check out the video below...
While the Schultz family are not folks that I know personally, they are close friends of some business colleagues of mine, and thus, I'm helping to spread the word about their plight. Daily updates are available on the GoFundMe page, and on Ari's Facebook. In just the past few minutes, I've seen donations jump from $85K-$87K with a goal of $500K for the campaign, which is an incredible thing.
The reality is that Ari will have a lifetime of battles ahead of him, and his family is prepared to help him in the fight. Right now, he's looking forward to returning home in "1-3 months," but what he doesn't know is that there's no home to return to. It's always hard to ask folks to contribute money to those whom they don't know, but this is one of those occasions where chipping in can really make a difference.
About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™.
Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality, Commentator, Adventurer and Raconteur.
He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, has been quoted in BusinessWire, CNN and Babble, in addition to making appearances on ABC News, WGN and more. In the past he served as a writer for Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.