The 39 Day Impact


Hayden's Hope has raised $160,000 since Dari Nowkhah, sports broadcaster for the SEC Network, and his wife, Jenn, founded the organization in 2011. They started the organization after losing their infant son, Hayden, at 39 days old as he awaited a heart transplant.  Hayden’s Hope financially assists families with children awaiting a life-saving organ transplant by helping cover medical and non-medical-related costs.

"The overwhelming costs associated with the transplant process, often including relocation and the inability of family members to work, can be crippling," Nowkhah said. "We help these families focus not on finances, but on what is most important, the child who needs them."

At age three, Charlie McMicken needed a heart transplant. The following year, he received his new heart and a chance at life. But during that year’s time, Charlie's father John McMicken was unable to work, placing the family at a financial disadvantage. Hayden’s Hope made a financial donation to the McMicken family, and the extra money allowed them to focus on the life of their child.

"In addition to the very generous donation, we were reminded that we were not alone. To this day, Hayden's Hope still follows Charlie on his lifelong journey," said Charlie’s mother Sarah McMicken.

Hundreds of miracle makers have shown their generosity by financially assisting these families through Hayden’s Hope as well as by giving the gift of life through donating blood. Former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Tim Tebow recently endorsed the organization’s mission and its love for children.

"I urge people to support Hayden's Hope," said Tebow in a promotional video. "It is an organization that makes a difference in a lot of kids’ lives."

Though his life was short lived, Hayden's life has had a lasting impact. He has touched the hearts of many and has inspired incredible joy, love and hope in thousands. Hayden's Hope is an organization that makes a difference in the lives of many children just like Charlie, but that difference all started with Hayden.



The Ocampo Christmas Miracle

On Dec. 24, 2012, Cisco and Cora Ocampo received the greatest Christmas present they could ask for: the gift of life for their child.

Their second son, Jordan Ocampo, was diagnosed with kidney failure at his 12-month-old checkup in July of 2010. For two years, Jordan endured numerous check ups and constant vomiting, all while being on at home dialysis. The bills associated with taking care of Jordan quickly stacked up, and the Ocampo’s found themselves in a serious financial situation.

After struggling financially, they decided to contact the Children’s Organ Transplant Association for aid and received a gift from Hayden’s Hope.

Not long after Jordan’s transplant, the Ocampo’s discovered that Jordan’s older brother Luke, born in 2007, would also need a kidney transplant soon. Luke was born with congenital hypoplasia, or smaller than normal kidneys, and he was expected to have delayed kidney failure.

Thankfully, on July 4, 2014, Luke received his kidney transplant, and the family received another surprise gift from Hayden’s Hope.

Though the organ transplant process is a worrisome and painful experience, it’s one that is made easier through the generosity of others.

“Please carefully consider supporting the legacy of giving hope to kids that have transplant and related needs,” Cisco said. “We love Hayden’s Hope so much.”

The donations received from Hayden’s Hope have helped the family continue a healthy life together, as it has and will with numerous others.

Please check out their Facebook page by following the link below.

Gandee Photography's Picture-perfect Resolution

Ryan and Lacey Gandee generously resolved to support Hayden's Hope in 2015.

Ryan and Lacey Gandee generously resolved to support Hayden's Hope in 2015.

It seemed like just another workday for Lacey Gandee as she sat in the control room of an ESPN studio, prepping logistics for the day’s next show. She didn’t think much of it when one of her co-workers, with whom she was barely acquainted, asked if he could record a video for an organization he held very close to his heart. What came next would inspire Gandee to make a commitment to Hayden’s Hope.   

The tape began to run and Gandee sat in the booth, listening. Tears started brimming in her eyes, as SEC Network Host Dari Nowkhah began to share his story about the tragedy that claimed his baby boy Hayden’s life just 39 days after birth. He conveyed the shock and utter dismay he and his wife, Jenn, felt as they were taking their infant with a 102 degree fever back to the hospital after six days of life. 

After days of tests, doctors realized that a virus had attacked the perfectly healthy baby boy’s heart, placing him on the waiting list for a heart transplant.  Days later, Hayden suffered a devastating stroke.  Doctors then told Dari and Jenn that the damage caused by the stroke would remove Hayden from the transplant waiting list.  

Hayden had suffered more in those few weeks of life than any infant should have to suffer.  Knowing their child would never receive the heart he needed, Dari and Jenn decided it was time to let little Hayden go.  

After losing their son, the Nowkhahs decided to establish Hayden’s Hope in collaboration with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA).  The goal of Hayden’s Hope is to raise awareness of the need for pediatric organ donation. Today, Hayden’s Hope provides a means to raise money for families of children awaiting a life-saving organ transplant.  One hundred percent of the money raised goes directly to families for medical and non-medical related expenses. 

 After listening to Dari’s personal testimony and learning about the great need for awareness and funding to benefit families nationwide, Gandee spoke to her husband and they decided to make a year-long contribution to Hayden’s Hope. 

Hayden’s Hope stuck out to Gandee and her husband not only because she worked with Nowkhah, but because it seemed like an organization that wasn’t widely known and didn’t boast a long-standing donor base like other charities. 

“We felt like we could do more good giving to Hayden’s Hope than another organization,” Gandee said. 

Through their photography business, the Gandees decided to donate 10 percent of every family portrait session in 2015 to Hayden’s Hope. Additionally, Gandee photography will donate $50-100 from every wedding shoot this year. 

The Gandees wanted this year’s resolution to break out from simple self-improvement. Instead, their family wanted to give back to their community and support needy families trying to stomach heartbreaking circumstances. 

As a general rule, many New Year’s resolutions start and end with self-serving goals: bicycle more, knock-off sugar, vacation generously. But this year in an act of unselfish defiance, the Gandees’ decided to powerfully affect families desperately desiring for their children to grow-up healthy, whole and happy.

And that’s a picture of purposeful generosity worth a thousand words.