A Hero’s Impact Foundation originated because of one boy’s vision—a boy who saw that being a Hero was not about capes and powers but about living for others on a daily basis. A Hero's Impact Foundation is based upon building that dream of mentoring children from all walks of life in the Greater St. Louis area and beyond. Our mission is simple to teach kids to be everyday hero’s and make a difference because a Hero is only as great as their Impact!
Read More About Gregory
Gregory was born May 8th, 2000. From the time he was old enough to understand the meaning of compassion, it captivated his thoughts. As young as age 7, he spoke of wanting to build homes for those who were in need.
For those of you who were lucky enough to know him here on earth, you knew of the fire that lived inside of Gregory. To his family he was the big brother, the confidant, the fishing buddy, and the sous chef at Thanksgiving. To his friends he was the moral compass, a best friend, and always willing to answer the Call of Duty®! Gregory’s reputation preceded him wherever he went, teachers, coaches, and his Sa bom nim knew that he would always give it his all. He showed us the truth behind, “A life need not be long to be meaningful”.
While these characteristics made up portions of who he was, the thing that we all admired most about him was his faith. Gregory spent his Christmas break of 2012 at the happiest place on earth, Disney World®, with his grandparents and Irish-twin Bella. As Christmas break was coming to a close and school resumed Gregory started to run a fever. Within one week the illness progressed and Gregory became sicker; he was admitted to the PICU. The doctors struggled with a diagnosis, but ultimately decided that a bone marrow transplant was the answer. In order to receive a bone marrow transplant Gregory’s immune system needed to be completely suppressed, which meant chemotherapy. While Gregory waited on a donor from Be the Match he was on multiple medications with painful side-effects. Needless to say it was rough on him. Not once did his faith waiver nor did he ask, “why me?” Even though he had every reason to be angry, he was not. As the fight continued, Gregory used the battleground as a platform to reach out to kids who were less fortunate. When Make a Wish® contacted the family to offer Gregory a wish, he immediately wanted to give it away to a child who would never have the opportunity to go on a vacation, because he was already “blessed”. Mom, being a mom, wanted her baby to keep his wish. This is when Gregory’s focus shifted to a new outreach; a place where sick, hurting, and lost kids could come and be kids. Gregory’s idea of a gymnasium was born. He wanted a place where children, who were sick, like him, could play in a safe, clean environment. Plans for the gymnasium began as Gregory headed back to the hospital to prepare for his bone marrow transplant.
Gregory’s room was a private isolation room equipped with a HEPA filtration system and state-of-the-art monitoring equipment. Everyone from nursing staff to special services immediately noticed his optimistic outlook on life. He received his first round of donor cells. While the family and Gregory waited for the daily report of his cell count, the nursing staff often referred to him as their hero. Gregory would redirect them with, “It’s not me, It’s God”. Instead of Gregory’s condition improving from the donor cells, he ended up getting sicker. He contracted adenoviruses, which are a group of viruses that cause respiratory (breathing) illnesses, such as a common cold, conjunctivitis (an infection in the eye), croup, bronchitis, bronchiolitis (inflammation of the lower airways) and pneumonia. Most adenovirus infections are mild, but Gregory's was severe due to his compromised immune system. His bravery never waivered as he waited for his second batch of donor cells to arrive. Again, his mom said he was her hero, but he cut off and said, “It’s not me, It’s God”. While Gregory continued to fight, his body grew tired.
Many people think that when Gregory breathed his last breath on earth that he lost his battle, but they couldn’t be more wrong. It was at that moment that he took his first breath in Heaven and another momentous step was taken in the destiny that God had planned for his life. Gregory realized he could stay here on earth and reach hundreds or he could move to Heaven where his reach would become endless.
Everything he did, he did for the Kingdom and that while it would be hard for his family not to have him here physically, it was a necessary step in realizing his destiny. In Gregory’s thirteen years, he had already learned a lesson that many adults strive to understand their entire lives; that you must be eternally-minded and not earthly-minded.
For those of you meeting him for the first time, we hope this gives you a glimpse into the heart of our hero. He was selfless and from the minute he entered this world he filled people’s hearts with joy and gladness. The wonderful thing is that he continues to fill our hearts with that same joy and gladness to this day.
A.W. Tozer said it best, “We can be in our day what the heroes of faith were in their day, but remember at the time they didn’t know they were heroes.”