Sunday is a very special day for a Stratford boy named DJ.
His mom and dad are hosting the 6th Annual Bowl For Life Fundraiser in Milford.
This fun, family day helps promote organ and tisse donation while benefiting the organization Donate Life which was incredibly important to DJ.
"So thankful. Everyday we say our prayers, literally, everyday," says mom Jen DiVincenzo of Stratford. She found out - while DJ was in utero - that he had a complex congenital heart defect. Born in June 2005, the baby underwent surgery at 5 days old. But, 2 months later, his heart began to fail. DiVincenzo had lost a brother to a heart condition: "It was scary to see my parents relive everything." She and her then-husband, Dave, prayed for their child. "We put our faith in God that whatever his fate was we would have to accept it," explains DiVincenzo. On Christmas Eve, DJ received a new heart. Now, he is almost 10 years old: happy, healthy alongside his little brother, Max.
The bowling event brings families together, touched by organ donation. 8 year old Diane Langguth will be there, even though she recently moved from Stratford to Hull, Massachusetts. "Di is awaiting a liver transplant," says her mom, Christy. "We hope to raise awareness because, when her time comes, we'll need to find a match. So, our hope is to inspire someone to be an organ donor." The little girl is in chronic liver failure.
At least 1400 people in Connecticut are waiting for an organ or tisse transplant yet only 45% of the population - over 18 - is registered to become a donor. For many, it's a way to make good from a tragedy. The gift truly meant "life" for DJ. "Every night when he goes to bed he always says, 'Thank you God for my gift of life and my donor who made this possible'," says DiVincenzo.
Bowl For Life takes place Sunday, April 26th from 1-pm at AMF Milford Lanes.
Click here for information.