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Losing a child is a tragedy that no parent wants to face. However, one woman is taking this tragedy and turning it into something meaningful.
Inna Trakhtenberg lost her 11-year-old son, Anthony, in an accident in 2021. Soon after, she took the initiative to start a nonprofit organization called “With Angels.” The focus of the organization is to help children in need by improving their quality of life.
“I’m passionate about helping others,” Inna said. “It’s my purpose in life.”
Dealing with the loss of her son was almost too much for Inna; but instead of giving up, she took this pain and turned it into something beautiful. When Anthony passed away, Inna talked to the staff at the hospital about donating his organs. These organs went to three people in need and ultimately saved their lives.
The Heart of It All
After donating Anthony’s organs, Inna wanted to meet the organ recipients. However, the process was complicated and ended up taking some time.
“Out of three people that received organs, we met with one woman who received Anthony’s liver and kidney,” she said. “But I always wanted to meet the person who received Anthony’s heart.”
“But I always wanted to meet the person who received Anthony’s heart.”
For Inna, this was her priority since donating the organs, because she wanted to know her son’s kind heart was in good hands, so to speak. So, she continued to search the internet for organ donations. After a while, she found a story about a little boy who was sick at the same hospital and received a donated heart.
“It kind of clicked that it could be Anthony’s heart,” Inna said.
Inna went on Facebook and found the mother of the boy. She wrote a message and the mother responded. It turned out that her son, Waylen, did receive Anthony’s heart. And they lived only 10 minutes from Inna’s place of work.
“She was very open to friendship and connecting,” she said. “This is pretty much how our story started to unveil.”
One Family’s Challenges
It was after meeting Waylen, and seeing the struggles his family was facing, that Inna first had the idea for With Angels Inc. Waylen is one of six children. He and his siblings are living with their mother in subsidized temporary housing that is being funded by the hospital where the transplant took place.
However, they are unable to stay there forever. Due to having a large family and the high price of housing in the Miami area, Waylen and his family are struggling to find permanent housing. It is an urgent need, especially because of Waylen’s health condition.
Inna founded With Angels with the goal of assisting families with housing, food, and education needs for several children. Now, however, the nonprofit has mostly been focusing on Waylen and his family.
With Angels has started a fundraising campaign on YouHelp.com specifically to alleviate the family’s housing situation. The fundraiser has received $8,800 in donations out of its $11,111 goal. The purpose of the campaign is to help the family find permanent housing and start them on the road to financial stability.
The fundraiser has received $8,800 in donations out of its $11,111 goal. The purpose of the campaign is to help the family find permanent housing and start them on the road to financial stability.
Inna said the process of running the campaign on YouHelp has gone smoothly. In particular, she noted how easy it was to register her campaign on the site and get it up and running.
“I am looking to concentrate on all children, not just organ recipients,” she said. “I come from Ukraine. And as you know from what’s happening in Ukraine, it doesn’t really matter where the kids are from — kids need food, clothes, and medicine. My organization wants to help.”
Coming Full Circle
For Inna, helping people has been something she has always wanted to do. She said she always saw herself being a doctor. Inna was born in Ukraine and left in 1991 when she immigrated to NY at the age of 16 with her family.
She completed a pre-med degree at Long Island University. After being treated by a chiropractor for headaches, Inna was prompted to attend Life University in Georgia. She graduated with a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC). After opening her first clinic, Inna married and had her son, Anthony, and a daughter. Later, Inna sold her company and moved to Miami to open up her current wellness practice, Ageless Body.
Inna said she is glad Anthony’s spirit can live on through the organization, With Angels Inc. She is also extremely grateful that his heart beats through 4-year-old Waylen. She hopes people will consider donating to her cause or helping in any way they can.
“I want to meet people along my path who are willing to work with small organizations like mine,” Inna said. “I appreciate every single dollar that people donate. People are touched by the story of Anthony and Waylen, and I have no complaints, only gratitude. “
And at YouHelp, we are grateful for you too.
Donate to With Angels Foundation at https://www.youhelp.com/with-angels-foundation-help-kids
Learn more about organ donation here: https://www.organdonor.gov/