Five year old Ari Schultz is an avid sports fan who loves playing baseball, Harry Potter, and hanging out with his younger sister and brother. At his 18 week ultrasound, he was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis and evolving hypoplastic left heart syndrome and soon became the first person to ever undergo two successful heart surgeries before birth. After enduring 20 surgeries over the past five years, Ari got the incredible news in March that he would be receiving a new heart – the video of his adorable reaction when he found out actually went viral. Following surgery, his body was battling rejection of his new heart and he was temporarily on life support. In addition to the tremendous stress that this has put on the Schultz family, they recently discovered mold in the walls of their home in Stow, MA. The house was deemed unfit for the family to live in, and needs to be demolished and rebuilt.
The community has come together to offer support to the family in this time of need in a variety of efforts, and here at Columbia we want to do all we can. A ‘For the Love of Ari’ booth has been set up in our office with information on fundraising efforts and a container for donations. Starting on Monday we will have “I <3 Ari” bracelets available for $5 each, and any and all donations are enthusiastically encouraged. Columbia’s fundraising efforts will culminate in a Cinco de Mayo party, which will feature a variety of games that employees can pay to play for a chance to win prizes. Top prizes include vacation days, Red Sox tickets and a free lunch! In addition to the games, there will be a plethora of Cinco de Mayo themed food available for purchase. All proceeds from the event will be donated directly to Ari and his family.
For those interested in learning more about or contributing to Ari’s cause, you can find his father’s blog here, the Facebook page with updates here, and donate through The Greg Hill Foundation here. The Schultz family has also expressed a need for people with construction related experience, including everything from electrical and plumbing to painting and landscaping, to assist with their new home. If you would like to donate your time and skills please contact Columbia, we can put you in touch with the right people! Our thoughts and best wishes are with Ari and his family, and we encourage our employees and anyone who is able to donate to this worthy cause. Go Ari!