Members of the Internet community reddit have joined together to raise over $50,000 for the bone marrow transplant of 3-year-old Lucas Gonzalez.
Lucas Gonzalez of Jacksonville, Fla., was born with a rare primary immune deficiency disorder called Hyper IGM Syndrome. The disorder severely limits Lucas's ability to fight off diseases and requires him to take multiple medicines and intravenous drugs to stay healthy. It severely limits his lifestyle as well.
"I can't do some of the things that other kids do. I can't go to daycare, or participate in anything where there are a lot of kids. I could get sick! I am only three, so these things don't bother me much, but Mommy says that she wants me to go to school and to be a normal kid," Lucas "writes" on his website www.LoveForLucas.com
When Lucas' parents heard that a bone marrow transplant could provide a cure for their young son they were ready do anything to get him well. They were more than willing to take the six month leaves of absence from their jobs and travel from Jacksonville to Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina for Lucas' treatment and recovery.
"We were lucky to have caught it early," said Lucas' Doctor, Rebecca Buckley "it made the chances of success much higher."
However, they faced one problem. After consulting with a financial adviser the family realize that the trip would cost them roughly $50,000, money they did not have.
That's when Lucas' aunt's boyfriend came up with the idea to ask the internet to help. He posted a series of pictures on reddit, using the username ironyx. The pictures showed Lucas holding signs detailing his story and requesting donations from the online community to help fund his treatment. The response was massive, since the initial post the Gonzalez family has exceeded their goal, raising $55,038 and an outpouring of support. Reddit moderator "backpackwayne" called it his "proudest moment as a redditor."
Though the Gonzalez family has surpassed their goal they are still accepting donations, acknowledging that the $50,000 target "was only an estimate." However, after the trip, they plan to donate any extra money they have left over to charity. The Gonzalezs thanked those who donated and offered support, saying they will never forget what the reddit community has done for them.
"Truthfully, I thought that the whole Reddit post would be a cute idea and get us another 5k… Maybe 10k if we were REALLY lucky. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the response that we got. Any doubt that I ever had in humanity has been entirely washed away," ironyx wrote in a blog post.
To learn more about Lucas and donate to his cause, visit his website www.LoveforLucas.com. Visit www.marrow.org to register with the National Marrow Donor Program and provide marrow to a person in need.