17-year-old Sidney Prussack took on a big project this holiday season. She enlisted the help of her fellow students at Palmyra Eagle High School to raise money for an 11-year-old boy she just met.
She's hoping people give from the heart to help Blake get a new heart of his own.
Little Blake Parker has been through a lot so far in his life.
“Over the last 11 years, you're talking thousands of doctors appointments,” said Blake's dad Jeff Parker.
Blake was born with only half a heart.
“Some days it's rough. I wake up and I look over at Blake to make sure he's breathing, he's alive,” said Jeff.
And all his family can do is wait.
“He needs a heart transplant and he's been waiting for over nine months,”
So Sidney decided to reach out.
“It just felt good, I was happy to help,”
After a chance meeting with Blake and his family, Sidney started a “penny wars” competition at her high school.
“So Ms. Kutz will be throwing a pie at Mrs. Zierath, so if you guys wanna come down here!” Sidney says addressing her fellow students during an assembly.
Teachers put donation jars in their rooms. The three teachers who collected the most pennies got a pie to the face.
After a couple of weeks, Sidney racked up a ton of cash.
“Comes out to a grand total of $1,770!” Sidney told the crowd.
“I just couldn't believe it, I was just so blown away by that. That people we don't even know would put this together,” commented Jeff.
And even Blake got a Christmas present he wasn't ready for.
“And we have one more surprise to announce: Mr. Gunderson is going to be pied by Blake!” Sidney told the crowd.
“It just gives you such a good feeling about people. That there are good people still in the world, ya know,”
Despite his condition, Blake remains in good spirits.
“He's a miracle kid, he should be down, he should be depressed, but he isn't,”
And his dad is just happy his son found a friend like Sidney.
“This is the greatest Christmas present that I could get ya know,” said Jeff.
If you would like to donate, call Palmyra-Eagle High School at 262-495-7101 and mention the Blake Parker fundraiser.
You can also email Sidney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organ donation is down right now and they need all the help they can get. To find out how you can give the gift of life visit http://organdonor.gov/
For a previous nbc15 news story on this topic click on the following link: