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The parents of a 2-year-old boy snatched and killed by an alligator from the beach of a Disney resort paid tribute to the toddler on the second anniversary of his death.
Matt and Melissa Graves are keeping their child’s memory alive through a foundation they created to honor their son. The Lane Thomas Foundation helps support families of children seeking organ donations.
“LT, we love you up to heaven and down to the grass. Hug, kiss, ugga mugga,” they said in post on the foundation’s Facebook page. “We will fight every day to keep your memory alive and make a positive difference in your name.”
Lane was killed on June 14, 2016, after being pulled into the water by an alligator while playing near the shoreline of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The toddler and his family were on vacation from their home in Nebraska at the time.
Last year, Disney World unveiled a lighthouse statue honoring Lane and the foundation named after him. The memorial serves as "a beacon of hope and support for families in the depths of despair," according to Lane's family.
“We are grateful for the support and impact the foundation has had in such a short time supporting families struggling with issues associated with pediatric organ transplants,” the parents said in a statement released Friday by the foundation. “We miss Lane every day and have dedicated our lives to making a positive impact in his name.”
In the wake of Lane's death, Disney has added signs warning guests of reptiles in its waterways and built a boulder wall along the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon where the toddler had been playing.