Athlete Notes: Omar Gets His Liver Transplant; Dikembe Advocating for Congo

Zo's Fund for Life

Miami Heat C Alonzo Mourning and his Zo’s Fund for Life campaign reports some good news in the effort to help three-year-old Omar Ferguson get a life-saving liver transplant. A donor liver became available on Saturday, December 13 and was flown in from California to Miami where doctors immediately performed a successful transplantation on little Omar who was clinging to life. Omar will need ongoing post-transplant care and several immunosuppressant medications to help fight against organ rejection in addition to the current transplant-related expenses, which are all a part of the overall $300,000 goal to be raised. Zo’s Fund for Life has donated $50,000 of the $300,000 needed to “Give Omar Life” and has raised a total of $142,000 to date (Alonzo Mourning Charities).

Dikembe Mutombo: NBA.com’s John Hareas noted that free agent Dikembe Mutombo is advocating support for Congo. Mutombo: “By text-messaging ‘Congo’ to 90999 on your cell phone, you can raise awareness for $5. We are trying to receive international support for the people of the Congo who are suffering daily from deadly diseases such as HIV, AIDS and Malaria. More than five million people have died and that number is growing. Last year, more than 1.4 million children have died from Malaria alone.”

Mutombo also noted that “50 to 60 percent of the patients at the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in the Congo, named after his late mother, are dying from Malaria” (John Hareas, NBA.com, 12/15). Read the entire article from NBA.com

LeBron James: The AP reports that The LeBron James Foundation”is cutting its staff and some of its charitable work.” The organization “will produce the King for Kids Bikeathon next June with consultants instead of staff to lower administrative costs.” Last year’s bikeathon “raised $50,000 each” for the Akron Area YMCA, the Akron Urban League and the LeBron James Family Foundation (AP, 12/17). Read the entire article from the AP

Usain Bolt: Ecorazzi reports that Jamaica Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt “has launched a fashion line” to support charities “that better the island nation of Jamaica, including the Jamaica United Way.” The merchandise “will be divided into three lines to target different markets: a souvenir line, an Urban Line, and a line of Signature Polo shirts featuring the ‘To the World’ pose he became known for at the Beijing Olympics” (Ecorazzi, 12/17).