Ever heard of TikTok? The app where people dance to the trending songs of the year (or moment) or do comical voiceovers? This social media platform has been the latest way to go viral besides Facebook and Instagram. Users create an account to entertain, get a message across, promote their businesses, to socialize and even raise $3600 for a complete stranger. Wait… what, $3600? YES! That is exactly what local Pepe’ekeo resident, Travis Rogers, did.
After a morning of mowing the lawn, Travis decided to scroll through TikTok to relax. He recently just downloaded the app and figured that he would see what it was all about. After a minute of scrolling, he comes across a video of a Nashville, Tennessee mother who explains that she is in need of finding a supplier who makes specialized gloves for her daughter who has Rett Syndrome and shows a pair to her viewers, stressing the importance of the gloves and what it helps her daughter with. In addition to finding a supplier, she said that she would need funds to help pay for them despite her medical insurance coverage.
Rett Syndrome, according to Rettsyndrome.org, is a rare genetic neurological disorder that occur in mostly girls and leads to severe impairments that affect their ability to eat, speak, walk, and even breathe easily. The main symptom of the syndrome is near constant and repetitive hand movements.
Knowing the importance of special needs assistive devices and feeling the stress of the mother’s concern, Travis immediately felt the need to help. He made a recording of himself alongside the woman’s video and stressed the woman’s need for help with fundraising and finding a regular supplier to purchase the gloves from. He mentioned in his video the link to the woman’s GoFundMe profile and made it public. In nearly a month, he was able to direct all of his viewers to her GFM page, raising $3600!!! The video had truly gone viral through the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and some in Australia, hitting 1.2 million views! Since then, he has made and maintained contact with the mother and was told that she was able to find a local provider to make the specialized gloves and that she will be using the funds raised towards buying pairs for her growing daughter now and in the future.
When asked about what motivated him to act, he said, “My empathy for the disabled and the differently abled and knowing the kind of suffering that you feel when you can’t get what you feel like your disabled loved one deserves and should have and you’re at your wit’s end… I’ve been there before and I just couldn’t let it lay, I had to do something.”
If you would like to help please visit Princess Leora’s Gofundme PAGE HERE!
VISIT THEM ON TIKTOK HERE!