Moorhead teen with rare heart condition to hold weekend fundraiser
Aaron Erickson, 14, has already had four open-heart surgeries, and now needs a heart transplant. He and his family will host a fundraiser to help with medical bills, and living expenses Saturday night, April 23.
MOORHEAD — Aaron Erickson is a Moorhead High School student born with a rare heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), which has left the left side of his heart critically underdeveloped and struggling to pump blood to his body.
He has undergone four open-heart surgeries and other procedures, tests and monitoring. But now, after going through so much at such a young age, Aaron needs to go through more: a heart transplant.
His family wants to raise $500,000 to help with medical expenses. Aaron has been living by Mayo Clinic for months as he awaits a new heart, as well for post- and preoperation, and for his medication further along in life.
His mother, Holly Erickson, says the clinic said the medication alone will likely cost $50,000. Medication and treatment he'll have to pay for the rest of his life.
"In three years, he's responsible for his health care. And so kind of starting that pathway of how are we going to support him and his medicines, so that he doesn't have that burden as he goes into adulthood," said Holly Erickson.
To raise the money, they have partnered with Lend a Hand Up, and plan to host a fundraiser with a freewill donation dinner, a silent auction, and a bake sale. It will be at Heritage Middle School in Horace, where Holly teaches, Saturday, April 21, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Holly said just coming out, grabbing some food, and showing that you're with Aaron and that you support him in the fight would mean so much.
"Celebrate and come out, you can just... you don't even have to donate if you can't. Like just let him see who his people are and who's his army," said Holly.
Holly also says some entertainment will also be provided in the form of a band made up of some former students. She added it would mean the world to her son and their entire family.
"Kind of want to just celebrate life. Celebrate the fact that we're all together. So the events more about just showing Aaron, you have all these people that want you gotta keep fighting," she said.
Holly wanted to give a special shout out to Ryne King, one of her students, who has helped spread awareness for Aaron, and for Heart Transplant Awareness month.
She said help they get from people like him, means so much.
If you would like to donate to Aaron's cause visit this link: https://lendahandup.org/give/aaron610/