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Family in Disney alligator attack aims to help kids awaiting organ transplants

The Lane Thomas Foundation, named for Lane Graves, who was killed in an alligator attack at a Disney resort, is launching a new effort to help kids in need.
/ Source: TODAY

The Nebraska parents of a 2-year-old boy killed in an alligator attack last year at a Disney resort are honoring their son with a new effort to help kids in need.

Matt Graves said he and his wife, Melissa, created the Lane Thomas Foundation in honor of their son "to do something positive for other families."

The foundation's latest effort is aimed at helping children who need organ transplants. Matt and Melissa Graves plan to share details behind the initiative Wednesday at a press conference in Omaha, Nebraska.

The organization will work with Children's Hospital and Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine to help cover transportation, lodging, and other non-medical expenses incurred by families who have children awaiting transplants.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support and love we have been shown from across the country," Graves said in a statement. "We believe we have found an impactful way for us to help others in similar circumstances and ease some of their burdens so these parents can focus on their child."

Lane Thomas Graves was killed on June 14, 2016. The toddler had been playing in the sand near the shoreline of a lagoon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa when an alligator snatched him and dragged him into the water. His father unsuccessfully fought to wrest him free of the animal.

Last month, Disney World unveiled a gold and blue lighthouse sculpture erected at the site to honor the boy and help spread awareness about the foundation.