Saturday, February 6, 2010
Alana's Achievers and Athletes for Education (AFE) hosted a private screening for "Tooth Fairy" this past Saturday for over 80 kids in Alana's Achievers & AFE's "reading for life" program and other AFE programs. The students were from Florence Griffith Joyner Microsociety Elementary, L.G. Rodriguez Elementary and Sunset Elementary. All three schools participate in AFE's mentorship programs; "Reading for Life" and the SG Squad Wellness Program so having the opportunity to reward the kids for all their work was very exciting. Alana Ethridge, of Alana's Achievers, had a special Guest of Honor who was a co-star in the film, Chase Ellison who plays Randy (Ashely Judd's son), who is a friend and fellow actor. The kids were very surprised that Chase was actually there so they were thrilled to get to meet him plus they had a little 'red carpet' experience as a special treat as well. A big thank you to Chase, AMC Mission Valley Theaters, Steven Haynes, Dir. of AFE and Ysabel Giacalone, of Ysabel's Pink Angels for making this event happen as it was a huge success!!! Here is an interview I had w/Chase after the event:
I am so happy that Kourtney was finally interviewed by our local NBC affiliate by Monica Dean who wanted to share Kourt's story about her waiting for the "gift of life" so it's a sad story, yet, it shows how we could all learn how to live life to the fullest just like Kourtney!!! She is amazing and very brave!!!
Kourtney and her family made it to a private screening that Alana's Achievers and AFE hosted for kids in our "reading for life" program on Sat, Jan. 30th, & got to meet a co-star of "Tooth Fairy," Chase Ellison, www.chaseellison.net
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Here is one of the pictures from my Christmas party! We had some amazing sponsors and volunteers! My friend, Chase Ellison and his sister, Brooke, came out to help. In the picture, were 2 fans that wanted his autograph as he has a movie coming out on Jan. 22nd called "Tooth Fairy" w/The Rock, Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews & Billy Crystal! It's going to be a very funny, family movie!
A Big Thanks to Kings Restaurant, Steven Haynes, Athletes for Education, Scott Legget, Lamar Lacañgan of Oyie Music, I AM Hope Project, New Venture Christian Leadership, Pregnancy Resource Ctr, Leon White, Karl Wilson, Chase, Brooke & Cindy Ellison & all the many volunteers who made this event possible! It was an amazing party with over 90 youth attending!!
Happy New Year Everybody! I hope everyone had a great holiday vacation and starting on their New Year Resolutions! I know all of us are going to try our best to change the world in 2010! I am just so thankful and appreciative to be one of the hundreds of young change-makers making a difference around the world! Just thinking of how many people we can help in 2010 is very exciting! Kourtney, my 7yr. old friend, who I am trying to raise money for her transplant and awareness of organ donation, is someone who inspires me so much (even though she may not realize it because she is so young); to go for the gold and live life to the fullest, so I am going to apply that to everything I do this year! Kourtney just wants her multi-organ transplant which would be very scary for most of us, yet, her brave and positive attitude keeps her going while enduring unbearable pain each and every day! I want all my fellow members of Ashoka’s Youth Venture, Get Ur Good On, YSA, Kids are Heroes and Afro Puffs and Ponytails, to follow your dreams this year … as I hope that is one of your New Year’s resolutions. Of course, we come from all walks of life from the U.S. and around the world, so even though we may be far apart, let’s use our advantage of having the same mindset and goals to continue to be young change-makers, and provide more opportunities for other youth around the world so that we can be the “change” to help fight the many issues that plague our communities like disease, poverty, illiteracy, child-trafficking, domestic violence, drugs and the list goes on! Remember … “you can do anything that you can dream!” All the best in 2010!!!
Give the gift of life, donate your organs and live life to the fullest!
Give the gift of life, donate your organs and live life to the fullest!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Alana's Achievers partenered with Ashoka's Youth Venture and the Hasbro Playathon to raise money for my friend, Kourtney Najjar, awaiting her multi-organ transplant to save her life! The event was a great success and Kourtney had a blast! I am so happy that she was feeling good enough to come and enjoy herself! I will be posting some interviews soon from the event. I had a friend from my old acting class come do some interviews for us so thank you Kymia!!!
No one will ever know how much Kourtney has already endured and suffered through in her young life, however, she is so brave and strong with incredible support from her parents and siblings that you would never know that Kourtney has a terminal condition! They live life to the fullest and the do not look back!
Kourtney's rare transplant is only done in 5 hospitals around the U.S. and her care is at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. She is ready for this transplant so she can get on with life! What an inspiring little girl so be thankful of your health and that you have this day!!!
God Bless and thank you to all my family and friends here in San Diego and from Youth Venture, Get Ur Good On, Athletes for Education, Everybody Wins, etc, as everyone has shown amazing support for Kourtney!!!
Give the gift of life,donate your organs, live life to the fullest!!!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Kourtney Najjar, is fighting for her life.
This 7-year-old has been sick since she was born. When she was only 14-months-old, she was diagnosed with neurogenic pseudo obstruction, also known as intestinal failure. As a result of her illness, she has spent more time in the hospital than at home. Doctors say an intestinal/pancreas transplant is her only hope for a second chance at life. Kourtney is on the transplant waiting list at UCLA Medical Center.
Despite her struggles, Kourtney has high hopes for the future. She would like to be healthy enough to visit Disneyland and swim in the ocean. Kourtney looks forward to the lifesaving transplant that will allow her to enjoy time with her family and her service dog, Mikey. But she needs your help.
Unfortunately, Kourtney’s hope for a new life comes at a very high price.
The cost of an intestinal/pancreas transplant can exceed $1,000,000. And that’s only the beginning. Even with health coverage, Kourtney’s family faces significant medical expenses related to her transplant. For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. The cost of post-transplant medications can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per month—and they are as critical to her survival as the transplant itself.
Also, Kourtney has to live near the UCLA Medical Center for one year after the transplant so the Najjars will be maintaining the expense of two households.
What if your life depended on the compassion and generosity of others?
I, along with other volunteers and supporters, are working with The National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) to help relieve the growing burden of expenses for Kourtney and her family. NFT has been assisting transplant patients with advocacy and fund-raising support for 26 years. Your gift—of $25, $50, $100 or more—will enable NFT to provide Kourtney with the financial support she desperately needs.
You can help by visiting www.transplants.org/donate/kourtneynajjar to make a secure online donation.
Kourtney had her wish from the wonderful "Make-A-Wish" foundation a few years ago and her wish was to fly with Peter Pan! Well, she and her family were sent on a trip to Disneyland where she got to meet Peter Pan and Wendy! She loves them so much as they bring much joy to her!
Mark, Laura, Ty, Kacee, Kamryn and Kourtney, thank you from the bottom of their hearts for all the love and support from their family and friends as Kourtney has been moving towards this transplant since she was born and now ... it's going to happen!!! Mark and Laura are very aware of what this life-saving transplant will mean for Kourtney as well as their undying gratitude for the parents who will have to make that crucial decision, at a very emotional, distraught time, to donate their child's organs so that Kourtney can be blessed with the chance to live a full life!!!
If you have any questions about NFT, feel free to contact the NFT staff 800-489-3863.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
A very dear and talented friend, Toya Bryant, wrote this beautiful poem about Alana's Achievers and my goal to help those less fortunate and inspire people everywhere to give of themselves and serve in their communties! Thank you so much Toya for this incredible gift that I can share with the world!!! Love, Alana
By Toya Bryant
Alana’s Achievers full of childhood dreams
Their view of the world is not all they see
They live to serve others and inspire their hope
As good friends and neighbors they help others to cope
Alana’s Achievers may be small in size
But have big hearts, goals, and stars in their eyes
They know they can help, young and old alike
By helping them strive for a wonderful life
With the imagination of a child
They see into the distance
To where life can take them
Even with the odds against them
Recognizing their place in the world
They give without seeking gain
They don’t do it for money
Or just to seek fame
All is done out of the love
That swells in their hearts
In giving back to people who need it
They play a large part
Let their goals be heard
Through acts of kindness
And heartfelt words
Whether organizing food drives
Or helping others to read
Or promoting physical fitness
Or teaching young ones to lead
Raise a unified voice
That caring about others
Is a must, not a choice