Community supports boy fighting for his life

Community supports boy fighting for his life

There are currently 119,000 men, woman and children waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ivan Burger, of Fitchburg, is on the list for a heart transplant. As the 3-year-old continues to fight for his life the community is rallying behind him.

It’s a fight no one should have to go through, but it’s one Ivan, who was born with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, knows well.

“We’re calling him Ivan the Iron Man because he is so strong, I mean I don’t think an adult would be able to do half of what he has done,” Leo Burger, Ivan’s dad, said.

Burger, who is currently on a Berlin Heart, is waiting for a heart transplant in Milwaukee

“He’s an amazing fighter,” Annie Burger, Leo’s mom, said.

On Sunday, he had a whole community fighting for him too. Hundreds of people met up at Waypoint Public House in Monona for a silent auction to raise money for the Burger family. Dozens of businesses participated, including the restaurant, which donated 10 percent of the money spent at the event to the Burgers.

“It’s a no brainer,” Joe Devitt, co-ownner of Waypoint Public House, said. “I can’t imagine dealing with what they’ve had to deal with.”

All of the money will go to Ivan’s treatment and will help support the family. Both of Ivan’s parents are taking time off from work to care for him.

“Without it we’d have to work, we would be separated and it’s given us the opportunity to be a family,” Leo Burger said.

As the daysIvan waits for a heart grow longer, days like Sunday, show his family that the support will only grow stronger.

“Everyone is always like ‘You’re so strong. I can’t believe it. I can’t imagine if it were me.’ but really without them and their support it would be impossible,” Annie Burger said.

The Burger family is very familiar with heart transplants. Ivan’s older brother Ezra suffered from the same condition and underwent a heart transplant himself.

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