Fundraiser for teen heart transplant recipient to take place Friday

Posted Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Instead of spending his summer like other Aledo teens, Dylan Hancock spent his time in Houston waiting for a new heart after being diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy.

After waiting for several months since his illness began in the fall of 2012, Dylan finally received word of an available transplant the evening of August 3.

At 6:32 the next morning, the transplant – Dylan’s “new heart” as his three-year-old sister Elizabeth said – beat for the first time.

Just 10 days after the surgery, Dylan left the hospital. Rob Helms, community coordinator and mentor to Dylan, said his quick recovery was nearly record-breaking.

“His faith is strong and his attitude is great,” Helms said. “And his goal is to get back.”

The first phase of fundraising for Dylan began with $40,000 raised for the heart transplant itself, but now a fundraiser will be held with the goal of raising money to build a house for Dylan, his younger sister and single mother.

Matt Jones, of GamerTagz in Weatherford, first offered to help with a fundraiser when the GamerTagz mobile gaming trailer attended the First Friday events in Aledo where T-shirts and other items were sold to raise money for Dylan’s transplant.

Jones said his wife’s uncle also had a heart transplant so he understands some of what the family has gone through.

“The surgery’s the easy part,” Jones said.

Jones said the hard part comes before the surgery and then afterward, when adjustments have to be made to medications and other things.

To help with that adjustment, Jones set the goal of raising another $20,000 that will help build the family a house.

The fundraiser begins with a family game night at GamerTagz on this Friday.

From 6 p.m. - 11 p.m., the money spent for gaming time on the 52 individual gaming stations will go directly to the Hancock House of Hope project.

The following Saturday, a charity car show will be held giving residents and others a chance to display their vehicles or view the cars and enjoy food available from the restaurants in the area.

Following the car show – which includes a HUMVEE and free dog tags for children that will be brought by the U.S. Army – a drawing will be held with prizes such as four 50-yard line tickets to a TCU football game, two round-trip airline tickets to anywhere in the United States and a Spa Day Package.

There are more than 20 prizes with a total value of more than $10,000. Those who attend the event can earn tickets by purchasing GamerTagz gaming time on Friday and Saturday or by purchasing the tickets directly.

Local businesses provided the prizes when Jones informed them of Dylan’s situation. Jones said many of them had not yet heard of Dylan but that when they heard they were eager to get involved.

“People want to help,” Helms said. “It’s our job to tell the story.”

Helms said helping the family has been very rewarding although sometimes difficult. But even when it is hard, Helms said they still find the strength to continue.

“God puts forth a display of his grace and mercy and it’s invigorating,” Helms said.

More information about the event and how to make donations can be found on the on the GamerTagz website,

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