Jason Ray, UNC mascot and organ donor, left behind a legacy of life

Jason Ray, dressed as Rameses the mascot for the University of North Carolina, is shown Feb. 13, 2007, in Chapel Hill, N.C. Ray died after being hit by a car March 23, 2007, in Fort Lee, N.J. Edythe McNamee AP

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/acc/unc/article140586523.html#storylink=cpy
A card arrived less than two weeks ago at the home of Charlotte and Emmitt Ray, and when they opened the envelope there was David Erving, a wide smile, wearing “little green glasses,” as Charlotte described them. A homemade St. Patrick’s Day card. Erving never misses a holiday.

He never goes more than a couple of weeks or so without calling, either, just to check in, to hear the voices of the people whose son saved his life. Ten years ago, Erving, 49, was ready to die.

He’d been on dialysis for a decade. Diabetes had ravaged his body, cost him an eye, caused his leg to break. He needed a new liver and a new pancreas. He’d been on a transplant list for four years. He’d decided to stop dialysis, and prepared himself for the end.

Now he’s alive because Jason Ray, the only child Charlotte and Emmitt had together, died 10 years ago on Sunday. Jason was a senior at North Carolina, where before home football and basketball games he transformed into Rameses, the Tar Heels’ muscular mascot.

He traveled with the team to New Jersey for the 2007 NCAA tournament. Hours before a game against Southern California Jason walked out of the hotel in search of a snack. He never returned. An SUV struck him on the side of Route 4 in Fort Lee. Continue reading
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