Social news site Reddit is quickly becoming the public relations venue for the voiceless—in this case a 3-year-old with a deadly blood disorder.
Lucas Gonzalez suffers from Hyper IgM Syndrome, a rare blood disorder that carries a high risk of death in early childhood and can only be cured with a bone marrow transplant. Doctors at the Duke University Medical Center are performing this procedure on Gonzalez in "the coming weeks," according to a letter apparently written by his pediatrician Dr. Suhag Parikh.
The only problem is this: the transplant is expensive, and the recovery takes six months. Gonzalez's family is moving to North Carolina to take care of him during this period. The family reckons it will cost them $50,000.
But Gonzalez is lucky, in a way. His aunt's boyfriend is an active redditor. Identifying himself only by his Reddit handle, ironyx, the boyfriend made an image gallery of Gonzalez holding index cards. The cards tell Gonzalez’s story and include a personal appeal to Reddit for help.
So far, ironyx has succeeded in bringing some major attention to the family’s financial plight, getting attention in three of the site’s sections, including r/assistance, r/askreddit, and r/randomkindness. Reddit’s general manager, Erik Martin, wrote in an email that he thought it was an awesome story. And it’s working.
According to the website the Gonzalez’s have set up for Lucas, they've already raised nearly $20,000.
We're in touch with the family and will update you as soon as we learn more.