Tag Archives: October

Meet Live Award Honoree Aaron Loy

We present our 2015 Live award to HelpHOPELive client Aaron Loy for inspiration after illness following a double amputation after severe complications from bacterial meningitis.

In 2013, Aaron Loy was a dedicated student and a passionate athlete who enjoyed lacrosse, soccer, surfing and biking. As a freshman at the University of California Santa Barbara, Aaron was suddenly diagnosed with an aggressive strain of bacterial meningitis with no U.S.-approved vaccine. The disease progressed rapidly, causing a blood infection and severe internal complications.

Three other university students recovered from the meningitis outbreak with no permanent damage. Aaron’s illness took a different course. Doctors were able to save Aaron and provide antibiotics to eradicate the illness, but only after amputating both of his lower legs.

Aaron Loy prosthetics meningitis

Aaron Loy lost his legs to bacterial meningitis. Picture courtesy of the LA Times.

Watching his own story covered on the news, Aaron recalls lying in the hospital in a state of shock, thinking, “No, I don’t think this is real…I don’t want this to be true.” The catastrophic event shook Aaron and his community to the core. Family members and classmates from Aaron’s hometown and the University of California Santa Barbara community immediately turned to HelpHOPELive to help cover his pressing medical expenses, including co-pays, prosthetics and intensive physical rehabilitation.

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Friends planned dozens of fundraisers from percentage of sales nights to bake sales and car washes. In December of 2013, supporters from Aaron’s home lacrosse team organized the Aaron Loy Lacrosse Shootout, an all-ages event that invited 300 players to complete in honor of Aaron. The event raised more than $18,000 towards Aaron’s medical bills.

Discharged after three months in the hospital, Aaron was too weak to maneuver his own wheelchair. But he set his sights on a formidable goal: regaining his independence by literally getting back on his feet. Aaron took his first steps in prosthetic legs in March of 2014. He continued to practice diligently, improving his strength and coordination at prosthetic therapy sessions three to five times each week.

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Within a year of his diagnosis, Aaron had fought his way to a fulfilling and independent life that included returning to college 200 miles away from his home community, biking to class and hanging out with his friends. And he’s not done yet: Aaron plans to get back on the lacrosse field, go snowboarding and devote his time to helping others who have experienced catastrophic injuries to defy the odds.

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“He gets up every day with a smile on his face, puts his legs on and just carries on,” his mother, Kirsten, told NBC San Diego in 2014. “While his body recovers, his spirits and optimism remain high.”

Image courtesy of the LA Times.

Aaron lives with grace and motivation after illness. Image courtesy of the LA Times.

help-hope-live-it-upThe Live award will be presented to Aaron at this year’s HelpHOPE-Live it Up! benefit on October 16.

Learn more about Aaron.

Each year at HelpHOPELive’s annual signature fundraising event, HelpHOPE-Live It Up!, we honor community heroes who prove why our mission matters with the Help, HOPE and Live awards. In 2015, we’re also giving out an Advocacy and Volunteer of the Year award.

10 Reasons You Can’t Miss Live It Up! 2015

We are less than one month away from our 3rd annual signature fundraising event, HelpHOPE-Live It Up! Here are 10 reasons why you have to be there.


10. Where else can you eat an Oreo Lollipop? (Trust us on this one and stick around for it!)

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9. Complimentary beer, wine and signature cocktails all night long!

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8. How many other charity auctions can boast presidential autographs from Washington, Reagan, Clinton, Ford and more?

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7. Delicious food with a unique progressive menu approach!

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6. If you win the “COOK” silent auction package, you’ll be a hero with the food lover in your life! COOK is “one of the best things that has happened to Philadelphia’s dining scene,” according to former Top Chef contestant and Philadelphia’s own A-Lister Jennifer Carroll.

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5. We guarantee you’ll get an amazing Facebook profile photo out of it.

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4. Enjoy a well-deserved night out and dust off your little black dress or cocktail attire!

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3. Catch up with your friends who are hosting and sponsoring the event!

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2. Every dollar raised at Live It Up! goes directly to our general operating fund!

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…and finally…


1. Be inspired! Meet our 2015 Live It Up! Awardees.

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HelpHOPE-Live It Up!

Friday, October 16, 2015
7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Mellon Hall at Valley Forge Military Academy

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available through October 15 at helphopelive.org. Tables are filling up quickly. Secure your spot today!