Jason Ray was full of life. This was evident as his amazing energy transformed a simple costume into a jumping, pumping, running Rameses that made Carolina crowds cheer, wave, and shout. But Jason’s life was cut short when he died in a hit-and-run accident while at the NCAA Basketball Regionals in May 2007. That did not stop Jason, though, from accomplishing his goal of sharing his energy, his optimism, and his love of life with others. Jason was an organ donor.
Jason’s organs have helped over 50 people with the gift of life. Jason’s friends, family, and UNC fans know, though, that Jason would have wanted to do more. So they are working to raise over $1 million for the UNC Center for Transplant Care. http://jasonray.org/ Donations will be used to benefit patients who have undergone solid organ transplantation at UNC Hospitals. When the $1 million goal is reached, the Center will be renamed in Jason’s honor.
You can help. This Sunday (April 29), the Jason Ray Foundation is hosting a fundraising brunch and auction at The Carolina Club, featuring terrific food, music by The Clef Hangers, UNC Cheerleaders, emcee Ron Stutts and, of course, Rameses.
The keynote speaker for the event is UNC Women’s Soccer Coach Anson Dorrance. Jason’s parents, as well as Dale Folwell, Speaker Pro Tempore of the North Carolina House of Representatives, also will speak at the event. Rep. Folwell sponsored NC House Bill 1372, The Heart Prevails Act, which allows an individual to indicate on his/her driver’s license that he/she is an organ donor. Rep. Folwell and his wife lost their seven-year-old son, Dalton, in 1999 and allowed him to be an organ donor.
Reading about Jason, and how he touched people during his short life, is inspirational. Here is an excerpt from the Jason Ray Foundation’s website: