Alonzo Mourning to celebrate giving omar life nearly one year later

Young Boy Celebrates this Holiday with Full Health and Reunites with Mourning

Alonzo Mourning, Founder of Alonzo Mourning Charities; four-year-old Omar Ferguson, transplant recipient; and the pediatric transplant surgeons who attended to Omar.

The ninth annual “33 Thanksgivings” continues when Mourning pays a special visit to the Ronald McDonald House of Miami where he will reunite with little Omar Ferguson, the young boy that received a liver transplant this time last year with help from Zo’s Fund For Life. Mourning initiated the “Give Omar Life” campaign last year to quickly raise funds to save the then three-year-old Omar Ferguson’s life by helping to fund a liver transplant.

Mourning will spend time with Omar who is in town for routine testing and celebrate his second chance at life. Mourning and staff from his Foundation will also host a pre-Thanksgiving feast at the Ronald McDonald House for all of the current residents and their families staying there.

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 at 5:30 p.m.

Ronald McDonald House of Miami
1145 NW 14th Terrace, Miami, FL 33136

Celebrate life! Little Omar laid in a hospital bed last holiday season at the Holtz Children’s Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center campus in Miami. He had been diagnosed with Biliary Atresia and was in end-stage liver cirrhosis. The only effective treatment option for Omar to survive was a liver transplant. He and his family, who reside in the Bahamas, did not have U.S. health insurance or the funds to pay out of pocket. Omar’s health was deteriorating quickly and in order for him to be placed on the transplant waiting list, hundreds of thousands of dollars had to be raised.

Mourning quickly recognized the importance of giving Omar the chance to live and not only donated towards his transplant but also helped raise money through his Zo’s Fund for Life organization. After being placed on life support, Omar received his new liver on December 13, 2008 and has responded very well. Since the surgery, Omar has had a full recovery and is thriving as a healthy four year old little boy with his new liver.

Tyler Sminkey, (786) 390-8510,

Alonzo Mourning Charities (AM Charities) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) public fundraising foundation. Its vision is to inspire through advocacy, education and enrichment services. Since 1997, AM Charities has raised more than $7 million for various programs that aid in the development of children and their families. In addition to supporting numerous youth initiatives, AM Charities programs include:

  • Honey Shine Mentoring Program, founded in 2002, this program works to empower young girls to shine as women through bi-weekly workshops and summer camp that help encourage the balance of mind, body, and soul in girls and women by providing nurturing experiences that enlighten their paths and empower their future (
  • Overtown Youth Center, the first youth enrichment center opened by AM Charities in 2003 inspires and empowers youth and families by fostering hope through enrichment services ( The next youth center is targeted for Bunche Park in Miami Gardens.
  • Zo’s Fund For Life was launched to create awareness for kidney disease and organ transplantation in addition to helping fund research and testing to fight Focal Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a degenerative kidney ailment that Mourning was diagnosed with at the start of the 2001 NBA season (
  • Other community initiatives include an annual youth sports conference, youth basketball clinic, scholarship and grant program, and a Thanksgiving and holiday program.
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