Happy Birthday, Micah!!
There’s no doubt that Micah Johnson will never forget his 12th birthday.
Micah was surprised over the weekend with gifts from members of Pay It Forward Networking, a local non-profit organization that’s committed to granting wishes through the power of social media networking. He received a Cleveland Cavaliers comforter and sheet set, posters for his bedroom, a brand new iPad and iTunes gift cards.
But there was something else that would send this birthday over the top. A mysterious white box had arrived at their home a few days before his birthday. Anticipation grew by the day…who sent it and what could it be?
The moment finally came for Micah to open the box. Inside was a personalized letter and memorabilia from his favorite NBA star, LeBron James.
It was one of several wishes he made with Pay It Forward Networking, who posted his wish list on Facebook. Along with this wish comes one that could save his life.
Micah was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia in February and is in need of a bone marrow transplant to survive. His parents, TSgt Javon Lee and MSgt Tavara Lee, are currently stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base and have watched their energetic and full of life child become isolated indoors and heavily dependent on medication just to keep his condition manageable.
Aplastic anemia is a condition that occurs when the body stops producing enough new blood cells. It develops when damage occurs to the bone marrow, slowing or shutting down the production of new blood cells. Bone marrow is a red, spongy material inside the bones that produces stem cells, which give rise to other cells.
After his diagnosis, Micah watched LeBron play in the NBA playoffs from his hospital room. Seeing his hero on the court gave him hope and strength to not give up during the difficult days.
The Bossier Press-Tribune published Micah’s story in its Aug. 9 edition. LeBron read his story and was excited to help Pay It Forward Networking grant his wish through the LeBron James Family Foundation. Simply put…it was the power of social media that Micah’s wish came true.
“Micah’s wish really took off once it was posted on the PIFN Facebook page,” PIFN Founder Kassi Robinson said. “We knew it was a long shot but we wanted to try to reach LeBron. Micah’s wish is a perfect example of how each member of PIFN can help by simply sharing a wish.”
Javon and Tavara Lee were overwhelmed with excitement and appreciation from seeing Micah’s wish come true. They have already made plans to decorate his bedroom and display the sneaker.
“This will be one of the most memorable birthdays he’ll have,” Tavara said. “For [Lebron] to take the time out and make it personal for Micah…we can’t say thank you enough.”
There’s still one very important wish on the list. The search is still on for a bone marrow donor match.
“Our number one goal is to help him find a match,” Robinson added.
To join the national bone marrow registry, visit https://join.bethematch.org/magicmicah or http://www.lifeshare.org/bethematch.
To find out more about Pay It Forward Networking, visit https://www.facebook.com/PayItForwardNetworking/.