A TikTok video has inspired people to donate more than $63,000 in the past six days to the couple’s GoFundMe account
On Wednesday, March 16, Alina and Jeremy Croke shared their raw and emotional reaction to watching a video for the first time that they hoped would give their 5-year-old son Simon a chance at life. And that video has gone viral on TikTok.
Last spring, a film crew came to Alina and Jeremy’s home to help share their family’s fight with Sanfilippo Syndrome, a rare and terminal disease. They hoped that Simon’s amazing basketball skills might catch people’s attention, and his smile would warm their hearts.
They had no idea how the video editors would put together their story in the hopes of raising funds to help save Simon and other children with Sanfilippo.
After months of waiting, it was finally shared with them to watch for the first time. To say they were on the edge of their seats is an understatement. Nerves and emotions were at an all time high, but so was their hope. This was only a day before it would be shared with the entire world.
They shared their raw reaction to watching the ‘Help Simon’ video on their TikTok account (www.TikTok.com/@Simons_Shot) on Wednesday, which had around 3,500 followers at that time.
What happened next has been amazing and continues to grow.
More than 2.6 million people have watched their reaction to seeing ‘Help Simon’ for the first time, as of March 22 at 9:00 a.m. EST. The video has amassed more than 319,000 likes and more than 8,100 comments. It has been shared more than 14,000 times on multiple social media platforms and has attracted support from retired NBA star Dr. Chantel Tremitiere (AuntieChanel), TikTok challenge creator Alex Presley (@AlexPresley_), and singer/songwriter Forest Blakk (@ForestBlakk). Followers of @Simons_Shot have risen to more than 48,000 people in just six days.
People have tagged famous accounts thousands of times in the reaction video’s comments, including the NBA, ESPN, Shaquille O’Neal, Stephan Curry, and Dude Perfect, hoping for their support and additional exposure for Simon’s story.
And most importantly, the attention on TikTok has inspired people to donate more than $63,000 in the past six days to the couple’s GoFundMe account (www.HelpSimon.com) to help fund two new research pathways that could benefit Simon and other children with Sanfilippo. When the reaction video launched, the GoFundMe was at $107,168, and now it stands at $171,000 and counting.
“We are absolutely amazed and so grateful for all the support. People from all parts of the world are hearing Simon’s story and lending their support to help fund research that could help him,” said Simon’s mom Alina.