Dear Friends and Family,
As many of you already know, a difficult situation arose this past week centering on circumstances that no one would have expected Zach to be involved in. The Kirtons, along with their extended family, have been coping to the best of their collective ability with each occurrence as it arises. They have come together and now ask that you join their fight in helping Zach. As a result of last week’s events, invoices have already exceeded over $100,000. We recognize that this amount is large but hope it’s not unattainable if everyone does what they can to help. Unfortunately, Zach is used to overcoming adversity – after a closed head injury a few years ago, he started from scratch and fought to relearn all the daily activities that most of us take for granted every day.
The goal is to get Zach home to his family that loves him and whom he loves in return. As one of the middle-born of over sixteen cousins on his mother’s side alone, he’s looked up to those who are older than him, and has taken the time to give of himself to take those who are younger under his “wing”: among other things, he’s taken them fishing, played basketball or video games, and gone go-cart racing. He has always been there to lend an ear, give a hug or smile, and make someone laugh. As a teenager, Zach has spent much of his time working long hours after school, on weekends, and during summers, exercising a work ethic that elude most young men his age. He is hoping to dedicate his life to further helping others by becoming a firefighter.
For those of you who personally know April or Mike, it is evident where so many of Zach’s positive attributes have come from. Just like her son, April always has a smile and kind word for anyone she meets. Warmth radiates from April, and people feel at ease and happy to be in her company. She is a committed mother, completely involved and an active participant in all of her children’s lives and extra-curriculars. As a long time teacher in Palm Beach County, April has gained the trust of so many students and helped those who struggled in silence prior to sharing their hardships with her – and it’s understandable to see why when her classroom is an extended part of her family. She spent her own time tutoring her students to ensure they didn’t fall behind and made sure they were safe in their family lives. She loves teaching so much that she combined it with one of her favorite pastimes and spends her free time teaching children to swim. I’m sure some of you reading this have April to thank for your own children, and possibly your children’s children, being able to swim and can be confident that they are safe around a pool. Many have been astounded by her patience as she’s waited for each child to be comfortable and trust her enough to take the plunge – seeing the shine in her eyes as she recounts the moment that they finally jump leaves no doubt that she loves what she does.
Mike is the type of father most kids wished they could have. He encouraged his kids to follow their dreams and has always been the first to volunteer to coach a football or baseball team despite working full time running his own company. He acted not only as an authority figure to all his players but also as their friend. He exhibits the same traits he instilled in his son, compassionately giving advice and rooting for each child’s success. A true family man, Mike is always 100% committed to his family, willing to do whatever it takes to make sure they are happy and provided for.
At only 18 years old, much of Zach’s life now hangs in the balance. Each one of you who are reading this have probably been touched in some way by the Kirton family. Perhaps your child had April to thank because she provided them with basic school supplies or the warmth of sweater on a cold day when you had trouble providing and making ends meet? Maybe Mike started out coaching your child’s little league team only to find out he was still coaching your child as a teenager?
If you are reading this and know any member of the Kirton family you are likely shocked by the circumstances the family now finds themselves in. This family who has been so generous in giving of their time and emotions to their friends, family, and community, now needs your help. Because of the great adversity they are facing, anything you can do will help, no matter how big or small. If you cannot help financially, please consider sharing this page with your friends, family or anyone else you can think of that may be able to offer assistance. Any and all help is greatly and humbly appreciated.