All smiles and in all green, Lincoln Elementary students were pumped to end their week, supporting one one of their own, Lamon O’Neal.
Almost every student and faculty member, strut the halls wearing green and blue shirts to celebrate ‘National Donate Life’ Day; Friday. It’s a school wide effort to spread awareness about the importance and need for organ donation.
Young Lamon, is a third grader at the school who’s been bravely living with Short Gut Syndrome. That’s a medical disorder, caused by lack of functional small intestine.
“Lamon was born at 27 weeks and developed a virus called Necrotizing Enterocolitis.” his mom, Aimee O’Neal explained. She says it’s been tough on the family of course, but make no mistake, the O’Neals are by no means letting any of the medical hurdles stand in their way.
And when it comes to Lamon, if you met him, you may not suspect he’s sick at all. The 10-year-old has an energy that fills up a room and uses the support from his family and classmates to propel forward.
He’s currently been on a transplant waiting list for two months, for a small bowel transplant. The organ donation would quickly revamp his health and get him in tip top shape, but the family is faced with a bittersweet reality.
For Lamon to get the donation, another young child would have to pass away; something the O’Neals don’t take lightly. “It’s very hard to think about but at the same time it makes us more grateful for the life that he will be living after a transplant and so grateful that he will have the chance to grow up and no doubt do great things.” Aimee acknowledged.
But the family isn’t waiting for the transplant idly; seizing every opportunity to spread awareness, young Lamon designed his own t-shirts from scratch with the catchy slogan “Short Gut Ninja.’
“It’s feels really cool that my friends are wearing my shirts.” Lamon beamed.
When he missed a week of school earlier this year, those same friends wrote him messages and sent him notes to make sure he knew how much he was missed
For the O’Neals, the “support has been amazing. It makes Lamon feel like he can get through transplant.”
Lamon’s mom said he was scared in the beginning, asking questions about what his medical needs would mean for him, but the young scholar quickly turned his fear in creativity. During an interview, he confidently proclaimed a future career as a writer and even leaked info about his current project; a mystery novel.
Like many great writers, Lamon wouldn’t give 25 News exclusive access to his book, but he did let us tag along with him to the playground attached to the school.
That’s where the entire student body got together for a huge photo, in their sea of green, rallying behind him and screaming “Short Gut Ninjaaaaaa” for the the all of Morton to hear – blasting their participation in a nationwide day, aimed at saving lives.