Benefit to be held for 11-year-old boy awaiting a new heart
Liverpool (WSYR-TV) - The family of 11-year-old Tray Curkendall is waiting for a phone call, which could mean a new lease on life for the boy. Tray is in need of a heart transplant. Saturday, a benefit will be held in his honor.
Tray is missing a ventricle in his heart. He's had three open heart surgeries, to no avail. Now, he and his family are awaiting a call telling them a donor is ready. Then, Tray will undergo the transplant surgery at a hospital in New York City.
He may have been a bit shy about his first TV interview, but Tray is actually brave beyond his years. "A lot of people ask, 'how will you survive?' They'll put you on a machine until they put a new heart in," he said.
"This is gonna be a great thing for Tray, a little scary, but it will be a great thing," said Tray's mother, Renee Curkendall. "It's gonna help him do all the things he can't do now."
Tray is a big Penn State fan, likely because of his father's influence. Pete Curkendall once played linebacker for the Nittany Lions, but says it is his son that motivates him now. "This has given us priority and given us a purpose," he said.
Tray's story may be unique, but he's not alone in his wait for an organ donor. As of September 9, 108,565 people nationwide are awaiting an organ transplant. Only 14,139 transplants were performed between January and June of 2010.
A benefit is being held for Tray Sautrday, September 11, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Café 407 on Tulip Street in Liverpool.
All donations will go to help defray travel expenses and costs for the family during Tray's 3 month recovery period.
Financial donations can be sent to: Benefit for Trayvon Curkendall, AmeriCU, 7474 Oswego Road, Liverpool, NY 13090.