Chivers, the story of Farrah, an Aurora survivor (10 Photos)

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Last Friday in the Daily Afternoon Randomness I asked the Chivers for a favor. I believed that, in the wake of the tragic shooting in Aurora, CO there must be something theCHIVE community can do to help an innocent victim who needs our help the most. Valuable info began pouring in from our Colorado Chivers and one victim's name began to stand out in the email subject lines: Farrah.

Thanks again to our vigilant CO Chivers (you know who you are). Without you, none of what's about to happen would be possible.

None of what I'm about to say, however, will be easy to read. This is the story of a survivor:

Farrah Soudani, her boyfriend Mike White, and Mike's father Mike Sr. have a tradition; they go to the 'late nights' when big movies open. On Thursday July 19th, the happy trio and some family friends walked into theatre 9 in Aurora, CO to watch the late showing of Batman: The Dark Knight.

15 minutes into the film, something that resembled a balloon was hurled down the right hand side of the theater, where Farrah was seated two seats from the isle. Suddenly, popping sounds echoed through the theater. Many assumed a prankster had set off fireworks in the theater, but Mike Sr., an Air Force Veteran, knew better. The theater was under attack.

Mike Sr. grabbed Mike and Farrah by their heads and yelled "Get Down! Get Down!" just as the 'balloon' exploded.

I spoke to Victoria Albright, a close family friend and author of Farrah's donation page. Victoria told me how Farrah described the first, frantic moments:

"I remember seeing a bright flash, and a bang bang bang."

The explosive ripped a 5" hole through Farrah's abdomen and demolished her left leg. Initial reports would say Farrah was shot, but the wounds indicate a shrapnel penetration. Farrah fell to the ground.

A hail of gunfire rained on the trio as the gunman moved closer. Mike was shot shielding Farrah. The bullet ripped through his right shoulder, piercing his lung and finally exiting his back. Mike continued to lay beside Farrah, holding her intestines inside her body.

Mike Sr. saw the gunman making his way from the 8th row down the isle, closing in on the injured couple. In a moment of astonishing heroism, Mike Sr. draped himself across Farrah to protect her. Michael Sr. said:

"This gunman's going to get me, I know I'm going to get shot. I give up my body to save her. He's going to shoot me, he's not going to shoot the girl."

Suddenly, the gunman stopped and changed his course enabling Michael Sr. precious moments to crawl out of the theater to get help. Farrah was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The officer who transported Farrah to the hospital, holding her side the entire time, described Farrah as "one tough cookie."

The surgeries begin:

Farrah's wounds are extensive. Yesterday she had surgery to repair her left calf and exploritory surgeries on her midsection to determine the next course of action. Both surgeries went well but there will be many more. Farrah suffered significant damage to her left calf and her left abdomen is 'permanently affected.' Farrah's amazing mother, Heidi, rarely leaves her side. Plastic surgeries will be needed for years to come. Farrah has no insurance.

The healing begins:

When the first images from the Aurora massacre hit the news, I stared blankly at my TV. A voice in the back of my head told me the Chivers would be called upon to help. I was uncertain of what capacity we'd be needed, but I was certain the Chivers would rise to meet the gravity of the occasion.

Things are clear now, a family and their their fragile daughter needs our help. And while our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims of this senseless violence, today is for Farrah.

The global media attention and Presidential visit has made Farrah famous and Mike Sr. a national hero, but it hasn't translated into the one thing this family needs the most: financial help. Only $37,000 of their $100,000 goal has been raised. theCHIVERS are about to adjust the sails on that one.

The goal is $100,000. I'm told Ferrah's medical bills will easily exceed the target amount which is fine, we all know the Chivers see financial goals much like a lonely stop sign on an empty country road - something briefly regarded before hitting the accelerator.

We're not only going to help a survivor recover, but in so doing we will play a small part in the overall healing process in Aurora; helping usher out evil and enabling a community to rebuild physically and emotionally. Our Colorado Chivers have provided the compass to find Farrah. Now it's time to follow their lead.

You know what to do, don't stop giving until the machine breaks.

Farrah's donation page RIGHT HERE.

UPDATE: Due the the volume of donations, the donation page is refreshing slowly so the finantial totals don't yet reflect the amount raised, which is amazing. Be patient! More updates to come.

UPDATE #2: We just spoke to the founder and CEO of Go Fund Me, he's been very helpful by allocating server strength to Farrah's page to handle the donation load. We asked him if there was a record donation amount in a single hour. He responded, "There was, but theCHIVE shattered that record just now." We have surpassed the $60,000 amount in less than an hour.

Update #3: At the one hour mark, donations total $74,000. Unreal. Keep going!

Update #4: $85,000

Update #5: $95,000. The final push!

UPDATE #6: $100,000 in an hour and a half. This is unfreakingbelievable.

Update #7: $120,000. And the Chivers have hit the accelerator.

Update #8: $135,000. Also, we linked to hero Michael White's donation page and theCHIVER's have almost raised $10,000 for him!

Update #9: $140,000

For updates on Farrah’s condition and to make a donation, CLICK HERE.

An email has been set up, messagetofarrah [at]

comcast [dot]

com, if you want to contact Farrah to offer any kind words.

Watch the Dateline video of Farrah’s story below

UPDATE: Due the the volume of donations, the donation page is refreshing slowly so the financial totals don’t yet reflect the amount raised, which is amazing. Be patient! More updates to come.

UPDATE #2: We just spoke to the founder and CEO of Go Fund Me, he’s been very helpful by allocating server strength to Farrah’s page to handle the donation load. We asked him if there was a record donation amount in a single hour. He responded, “There was, but theCHIVE shattered that record just now.” We have surpassed the $60,000 amount in less than an hour.

Update #3: At the one hour mark, donations total $74,000. Unreal. Keep going!

Update #4: $85,000

Update #5: $95,000. The final push!

UPDATE #6: $100,000 in an hour and a half. This is unfreakingbelievable.

Update #7: $120,000. And the Chivers have hit the accelerator.

Update #8: $135,000. Also, we linked to hero Michael White’s donation page and theCHIVER’s have almost raised $10,000 for him!

Update #9: $140,000

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  • http://www.gofundme.com/wa2ko Mike's Aunt

    Hello Chivers! Again, thanks to all who have sent donations, prayers, and well-wishes to my nephew Mike White and his girlfriend Farrah Soudani. With your help, nearly $17,000 has been raised for Mike and we are all so grateful. I wanted to make you aware that his donation site, http://www.gofundme.wa2ko, will be taken down soon and the funds given to Mike, so if you wanted to still make a donation to assist in his on-going medical care, there's still time. Funds are also continuing to be collected at Bank of the West on his behalf in CO. Thank you all so very much!

    • Manoj

      OMFG I know !!!!![ star for you btw ]I never expected so much craszneis in one year, seriously its been bizzare, so many weird stuff on the like the parachute hoax you mentioned, so much more violence than i ever anticipated which makes me sad tbh cos i hate seeing things like that , and the unforgettable tragic moments like when MJ died, thats something that hurt me bad and i’m not gonna forget it :/This year’s just been like wtf ??I never expected MJ to die, that shocked me so so much,and y’know a lot of good things have happened like the 1st black president, the Copenhagen summit might do good for climate change hopefullyBut i just want the violence that we see day in day out to stop cos its wrecking the world big time.But yeah, i want to move on to 2010 see what that brings us, more happiness i hope x

    • Abdul

      The media’s feeding fnzrey over MJ’s death is getting mighty old, and we’re only a few days into it.With toxicology results not coming for several weeks, we’re going to be subjected to saturation coverage of MJ.Farrah Fawcett did indeed leave a real legacy. I wish that what she did to help abused women gain rights in our legal system were getting deserved news coverage.

  • LisaofLove

    Colo, colo123, and all others who are questioning The gofundme.com/Help-Farrah fund . Victoria Albright is working with Farrah and her parents "The Family" on this fund. Go to the gofundme site, Farrah posted her first comment on Tuesday. She is such an inspiration!!!! Read all of the updates, and ignore the mudslinging of those who are proclaiming to be "The only Family Fund" who set up the other fund. Victoria has been working with a trust attorney, and will be releasing the documents as soon as they are ready. We Love Chivers, and appreciate all of the love and support that you have given to Farrah. Anyone who can read, can clearly see that the gofundme site clearly states who the money was raised for… Farrah and Heidi! Read the updates as well…it has been said repeatedly, and regardless of other family members dislike of that fact…that is the way it is!!!! Please don't dwell on the negative junk, the truth will soon be revealed, and people are going to feel really silly for getting wrapped up in this political attack and mudslinging type of campaign to simply do something great for someone great…Farrah Soudani!!!! .

    • http://www.facebook.com/ed.asakura Ed Asakura

      I've been reading various articles and looking trying to figure out what's been going on all morning. I really hope that the money goes where it's supposed to and that the people we worked with are trustworthy. Not only for Farrah, but for the reputation of the Chive and all the good we can do in the future.

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    […] them when the first miracle happened for them.. the story is incredible, read about it here:  http://thechive.com/2012/07/26/chivers-the-story-of-farrah-an-aurora-survivor-10-photos/ A huge part of Farrah and Mike and Mike Sr.’s horrific experience that should be noted is how […]

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