Earlier this year, Dzevad Dizdarevic and his wife were confronted with news no parent ever wants to hear: their two year old daughter had cancer. Infant Ariana did not just have any cancer, but clear-cell sarcoma of the kidney -- a rare form of cancer affecting less than 500 children per year.
Doctors performed an emergency surgery on Ariana right away, but her battle was far from over. She would require several rounds of chemotherapy in addition to a number of expensive medications and shots. The Dizdarevic’s knew they were going to need financial help if their daughter was going to beat cancer.
"I told [Ariana's father] we need to do something," said Ariana’s Aunt Sjara. "Somebody will help us. We have to get funding for this little girl."
The Dizdarevic’s are Bosnian-Americans and live in St. Louis – home to more Bosnians than any other city in America. The family shared their story with the Bosnian community and quickly received almost $30,000 in support after two fundraisers. The Dizdarevic’s were overwhelmed by the support, but little did they know the money was just starting to pour in.
A crowd funding page was created at gofundme.com, and within weeks the family raised over $70,000 in funds to pay for Ariana’s cancer treatment.
“It's just amazing to see how many people have reached out; we're shocked," says Aunt Sajra. "Americans are donating, too. Nobody is treating her any differently. Everybody has come together."
Of all of the amazing things people have created on the internet, crowd funding websites just might be our best idea yet. Every day we hear stories of strangers whose lives are saved through donations from strangers connected through the web. This is what technology used in the right way is capable of.