People love to share Hayden’s story — and you can too. We've provided a sample of media stories featuring Hayden’s Hope and the Nowkhahs.
News On 6
Dari Nowkhah's Journey to the SEC Network
Since leaving Tulsa, Dari and his wife Jenn started a family, and they also lost a child. Five years ago, Hayden Michael Nowkhah, waiting for a transplant, died from a virus that attacked his heart at just 39 days old. They grieved the loss and then decided to do something. And that's where Hayden's Hope comes in. The Nowkhah's foundation helps families with children waiting for a life-saving transplant.
"Our fifth year comes in September,” said Dari. “We've raised close to $180,000. We've helped probably 25-30 families all across the country, including a couple here in Oklahoma. And it's been really cool because over the time that we've been doing it more and more people hear about it."
Winners Within Us
How a baby's death is saving lives
During the summer of 2011, Jenn and Dari Nowkhah were full of excitement and anticipation. Along with their children, Nicolas and Nahla, the expectant parents were preparing to bring home a new baby brother. The family had moved to Connecticut from Tulsa, Oklahoma when Dari was offered a dream job sports reporting for ESPN and their life was brimming with hope. However, things weren’t to happen according to plans. The family would have to summon a strength they never imagined.
OU's James Fraschilla thrills with his latest trick shots
OU senior James Fraschilla has developed a significant following for his trick shot videos in which he makes wild shots into a hoop from off angles, sitting down, high in the rafters, halfcourt, and more.
The Charlotte Observer
Current Opportunities to Help Others
Fundraising success: The nonprofit organization Hayden’s Hope, which seeks to offset costs of organ transplants among children, has raised $120,000 since ESPN TV and Radio host Dari Nowkhah and his wife Jenn founded the organization in 2011. They have been able to help several families with medical expenses who have children receiving transplants.
Dari Nowkhah's Story From The Let Love Define Family Series
When it comes to adoption, ESPN anchor Dari Nowkhah wears his heart on his sleeve.
“Blood does not define family. Just because a child would look different or have different biological parents doesn’t mean that they’re not family to us,” said Dari.
After he and his wife, Jenn, expanded their family with the adoption of their daughter Nahla, Dari found himself speaking out as often as possible about the benefits of family building through adoption.
“Our adoptive daughter is just like our other kids,” Dari said. “There’s no difference between her and our other two kids in any way, shape or form.”
The Charlie Sawyer Project
Hayden Michael's Story
Our baby boy was born on August 12, 2011. His name was Hayden. He was beautiful and strong. We couldn’t wait to take him home to meet his brother Nicolas and sister Nahla. We did just that on August 15th and everything seemed right with the world. Those first few days at home were the happiest days of our lives. Our family was finally complete and we had never felt more joyful and excited for the future.
On just our third day home from the hospital, we noticed little Hayden felt warm and took his temperature. We gasped in fear when the thermometer read 102.3. We will never forget that number.
A Christmas Void
"For the parents of young children, Christmas morning can be the Super Bowl of family activities.
Dari and Jenn Nowkhah undoubtedly will enjoy watching 6-year-old son Nicolas and 2-year-old daughter Nahla during the gift exchange on Sunday.
The sweet moments will be dulled, however, by a bitter, persistent, numbing void.
'We'll do our best to make it great,' Dari Nowkhah said, 'but we're still going to be thinking that one of us should have a baby on our lap.'"
OU's Fraschilla, ESPN's Nowkhah connected through loss
"He was a young rising star in the internet age of sports media.
Just two years removed from earning a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma, he won a regional award voted on by his peers for sports reporting. He won that award as the sports director at a tiny TV station in Kalispell, Mont.
His name is Dari...."
Fox 25 – KOKH TV + The Oklahoman
OU's James Fraschilla makes dazzling trick shot video for a cause
Watch college basketball trick-shooter James Fraschilla make a splash with unbelievable baskets to raise awareness for pediatric organ donation through Hayden’s Hope. Fraschilla and Oklahoma Sooner quarterback Trevor Knight shoot head-turning baskets to score donations for transplant families.
News on 6
Family hopes loss of infant son shines light on organ donation
"A former News On 6 sports reporter and current ESPN anchor hopes the tragic death of his infant son shines a spotlight on the need for organ donations for children.
Dari Nowkhah worked at News On 6 from 2002 to 2004. He's now at ESPNU. Last month, his 39-day-old infant son passed away while waiting for a heart transplant.
The 1994 Union High grad worked his way up to become the lead anchor for ESPNU. This summer his life took a tragic turn."
Collected Wisdom: Dari Nowkhah, SEC Network host, OU and Tulsa Union graduate
"Dari Nowkhah, a Tulsa Union High School and OU graduate, has taken a long, twisting road to his job as main host of the new SEC Network, which two weeks ago launched in more than 90 million homes. The road took him to one of the nation’s smallest TV markets and to nearly getting out of broadcasting and becoming a teacher. He jumped from being the No. 3 sportscaster at Tulsa’s KOTV-6 to ESPN in 2004..."