One week before "Shark Week" this year, my cousin Kiowa literally punched his way out of a shark attack - only after the 10' tiger shark bit off a chunk if his left leg.
Now the entire family is getting together to raise funds and pay off a chunk of his medical bills.
For my part, I started an Indigogo campaign at where I am offering branded gear I designed for Kiowa in exchange for donations. Under the shark logo, reads:
Shark Attacks Kiowa • 7/29/2013 • Kiowa Attacks Shark
Our family affectionately calls Kiowa "Kai Boy" ("Kai" means ocean in Hawaiian). Its a fitting nick name considering that he has a heart as big as the ocean and that he is as free spirited as the waves he was riding that day. It is unfortunate that the ocean is where he suffered the 2nd biggest tragedy of his life.
What was the biggest tragedy? When Kiowa was 11, his mother Linda (my cousin and God-Mother), passed away from an overdose. As troubled as Linda was, she had the biggest heart in the world - something she passed along to Kiowa.
Aunty Eleanor, Kiowa's grandmother, took on full responsibility and raised Kiowa and 3 of his siblings - all on her own and on very little income. She is truly an angel - in fact, she is the person helping Kiowa recover from his shark attack right now.
Kiowa won't be able to work again until February (he was a part-time server at Ruby Tuesdays). He has basic health insurance that should pay for 80% of his the medical bills to totaling well over : $100,000.
I am hoping that the citizens of the Internet (with our appreciation of all things shark related) will band together to donate toward this effort.
Paying off the medical bills would be absolutely amazing. If we raise more than $20,000, the extra funds will go towards the shark's hospital bills (kidding).
Anything extra would go towards paying for Kiowa's college education (once he is healed he will continue studying at Kapiolani Community College for 3 years). Anything after that should go towards a vacation for Aunty Eleanor (she deserves it after a life of sacrifice).
To say that Kiowa has had a hard life would be inaccurate. He has constantly been surrounded by a group of people that deeply care about him - helping him get through the tough times. I am hoping that you can join that group and help out with a donation.