The Donor Diva

    by -

    Ranee Hinton had it all – great career, loving family, oh, and she’s gorgeous – but she wanted more. There was something missing, something bigger than herself, she needed to pursue. But she never could put her finger on it.

     

    "Each year we have this huge party with friends, drinking and having fun and it always kind of bothered me that we didn’t do any good with it," says Hinton.

     062011feature2.jpg

    Then, about six years ago, Hinton found out her friend’s daughter had a spine disorder and the family was becoming burdened with medical bills. "That’s when I decided we were going to honor her daughter at this party that we already have every year. We charged everyone $10, and afterward, everything went to her."

     

    Shortly thereafter, Hinton’s brother, Corey Hoover, was diagnosed with a lung disease called "Bronchiectasis," a disease that destroys the bronchial tree. This can be a devastating disease as it causes recurring bouts of pneumonia, collapsed lungs and extensive scarring, all of which makes simply breathing an exhausting process.

      

    After several hospital stays in 2010, Hoover was told he could no longer work and needed a double lung transplant. His lungs were only functioning at 21 percent and had to be on oxygen 24 hours a day. MitchellsInstoryGIF.gif

     

    Of course, Hinton was distraught and wanted to help. Not only did she host another event to raise funds, but she created something even bigger. She created the Rise and Rise Again Foundation to help people in need of transplants, bring awareness to the importance of being an organ donor and also provide financial support for daunting medical costs. 

     

    "I wanted it to be fun, to celebrate life. I like to say we party for a purpose," says Hinton. People are going to spend money going out and drinking at bars. If they’re going to do that, they might as well do it while also doing some good."

     

    The name of the foundation came about in conversation with her brother. "He was telling me that the first night, he got really sick he thought he was going to die, but all he could think about was a quote from the movie, Robin Hood when Russell Crowe says, ‘Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions,’" Hinton recalls. "I knew then that was it; that is what we have to name it."

     

    On Feb. 1 this year, Hinton started the Rise and Rise Again Foundation, and on May 21 they held their first event: The Hacker’s Ball golf outing. "I didn’t know how much work went into to planning a golf outing, but we did it and it was a huge success!" says Hinton. "We raised more than $7,000 and had so many golfers signed up we actually had to turn people away because we didn’t have any more room."

    Elizabeth-InStory.gif 

    One reoccurring theme in Hinton’s life has been "go big or go home" and this foundation is no different. She put everything into getting this foundation started and has hit several milestones in just a few short months.

     

    Hinton planned the golf outing in three months and only had promotion through their Facebook page and by word of mouth. She hopes to have continued success at their future events. "People had a blast and it’s so inspiring to see all these people, even strangers, come together for a cause."

     

    The foundation is designed to help those with mounting medical bills to help relieve some of their financial constraints so they can focus on living the best quality of life they can as they go through their journey to an organ transplant.

     

    "We want to give them a little bit of quality life. Even with insurance all their money is wrapped up in medical bills and have nothing to live on," says Hinton.

     

    The foundation’s board has set up an application process to determine who meets the qualifications to be a Rise and Rise Again beneficiary. This year, the board voted to help Corey Hoover with his journey since he inspired the founding of the organization. Although, Hinton hopes they will be able to help multiple people at once as the foundation grows. "We want to help everyone but we have to stay focused. It will be so cool when Corey can share his story with others through this foundation."

     

    Hinton is so dedicated to making Rise and Rise Again as successful as it can be that she quit her full-time job to focus all her energy on the foundation, a non-paying job. She has ambitions to help many, create scholarships, bring awareness to organ donation and most of all celebrating life. Hey, she doesn’t call it partying for a purpose for nothing!

     

    To learn more about the Rise and Rise Again Foundation or to keep updated on their future events, visit them at www.RiseAndRiseAgainFoundation.com. To register to be an organ donor, visit www.OrganDonor.gov.

    SIMILAR ARTICLES