RICHMOND, Texas - It’s a list no one wants to be on, but at just 2 years old, a Richmond boy finds himself on an organ transplant list waiting for a new liver.
His name is Ashton Guerra, but his parents call him their little super hero. In fact, the name of his Facebook page which documents Ashton’s journey is titled, "Ashton’s Avengers."
When you meet Ashton, there’s a good chance he might be playing with toy cars or running though his bubble machine -- typical activities for a “normal” little boy. However, he’s not your typical toddler.
“Ashton is a very loving baby,” said Shayna Barker, Ashton’s mom. “He is very much a mama's boy. He needs to be with me all the time.”
Ashton was born with a rare disease called biliary atresia.
“It causes scarring and hardening of the liver, also medically known as cirrhosis,” Barker said. “He has had a total of nine hospital admissions.”
It’s a rare disease with no known cause or cure, and the diagnosis came as a shock to the family.
“Just panic floods over you, and you think...but he's brand new!” Barker said.
It’s a life where IV drips and hospital visits are just as common as playtime.
“We live on eggshells. We definitely are grateful for our good days but we are always prepared," she said.
Preparing mentally as well as financially, because the cost of a transplant is exorbitant, usually upwards of $500,000.
Ashton’s doctor at Texas Children’s Hospital put the family in touch with Children’s Organ Transplant Association, a non-profit that is helping them fundraise to help cover medical costs.
“There's nothing that we would turn away and nothing that wouldn't be appreciated,” Barker said.
Because this family wants to give their baby every chance to live the best and longest life possible.
“He has just been an actual superhero through all of this. The things that he goes through...they are going to help shape him into the person that he is meant to be," Barker said.
There is a big dinner, raffle and auction fundraiser planned for Ashton from 11 a.m.to 2 p.m. March 24 at St. Andrew’s Parish Hall in Hillje, Texas.
If you'd like to donate to Ashton's transplant fund, click here.
Barker says in addition to monetary donations, they’re also in need of auction items and volunteers.
To contact the family, please visit the Ashton’s Avengers Facebook page.