GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) − It's a parent's worst nightmare, being told your baby won't have much of a chance at life.

That is what happened to a Gilbert couple. Despite the loss of their baby boy, they have found a way to survive the tragedy by helping other families, especially during the holiday season.

Rachel and Jason Warner created the Miracle Ryker Foundation in honor of their son Ryker, who died in 2013 at just 13 months old.

"He was born in Utah, at Primary Children's Hospital and was sent home at like 4 or 5 days old, basically they sent him home to die because they didn't know what to do with him," explained his mom, Rachel.

He was born with a rare condition that left his organs in the wrong place. In his short life, he had undergone nearly two dozen surgeries. The couple researched and found the best doctor for their case was in Boston. 

So they packed up their four kids, left their jobs and lived off of their savings, until the money ran out.

"We lost everything. We know what that's like. We were sleeping on floors, we lost everything." said Jason. "People would come in and get us food, bought my kids beds when we were starting out and they just said, pay it forward."

They saw firsthand so many other families just like them, who needed help.  So the Warners decided to start up the Miracle Ryker Foundation.

In the last several years, the foundation has raised $60,000. They give a hand up to families with a sick child and give them hope.

This holiday season, the Miracle Ryker Foundation is doing more by holding a toy drive to bring Christmas to kids who have to spend the holidays at Phoenix Children's Hospital.

You can drop off a toy at one of the collection boxes: the Chick-fil-A in San Tan Village in Gilbert, Arizona Dynamics in Chandler and Total Body Rehab in Gilbert.

You can also make a donation online at www.miracleryker.org

"We can no longer celebrate his accomplishments, so we want to make him proud of ours," said Rachel. "So that's where we stand, we want Ryker to be proud of us."

Tess Rafols wakes you up with a smile as part of 3TV's Good Morning Arizona family. You can find her anchoring with Javier Soto 4:30 a.m.-6 a.m. weekdays, then doing segments and reports until 10 a.m.

 
 


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