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

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

Like this post?

  • petey

    it's time to redirect our focuses to her boyfriend, Michael. get after it Chivers!

  • Dvdguy

    A little weird to me, some folks have zero problem giving $50… but if they were asked to pay $60 more on their taxes so these kinds drives wouldn't have to happen to begin with the answer is hell no!! (Yes I know the numbers are not accurate but you get the point)

    • petey

      not the time or place, my friend. we know where this money is going, who knows what The Man is going to do with it…

      • Dvdguy

        This might be exactly the time … what Thechive fans can do it really remarkable! Wish Farrah nothing but the best… This whole thing made me ill.

  • Emily Rexford

    Makes me so happy to be a part of such a wonderful family 🙂 ❤ you.chivers!!!

  • Curtis Montgomery

    Donated! TheChive at it again breaking donation records. #ChiveLove!!!

  • Jake

    Hey John,
    I just saw this on Farrah's Facebook Page…Did we donate to the right place???

    Quick update on the Farrah Soudani Fund: This fund has been established by the Soudani family to directly aid Farrah in her physical and psychological recovery. There is another site collecting funds from and through a different community, and we are not affiliated with that fund. The Farrah Soudani Fund is a family-run fund, and 100% of all donations will directly benefit Farrah._ _

  • Shane Bogue

    KCCO North Carolina chiver is praying for you. The best site ever CHIVE

  • Degator

    Since one goal was met. I gave to Mike's fund! Bless the big hearts of Chive, Berry, and their friends

  • MovinFr8

    DVDguy….. there is a huge difference in helping an individual in need DIRECTLY and giving $$ to an over zealous government that is full of waste and up to no good.

    • Dvdguy

      Well other than the 5% that gofundme gets… and the taxes I assume this chivette will have to pay on this gift (but to be honest I'm not 100% on that).

  • spydermonkey

    Done. KCCO Farrah! Every moment spent being a Chiver is a good one so I'm just happy you're still here to Chive ON! Thanks for being brave throughout, staying strong and we are all wishing you a speedy recovery to your new self!!

  • JgT

    Did her boyfriend live?

  • Anonymous

    What about the boyfriend?

  • Shandell Marie Baker

    Hello Everyone!

    My mother, Michelle Reese, is Mike Sr,'s girlfriend. She was there the night of the shooting. My mother even ran back into the theater when she realized Mike and his family was not behind her. When she got back in she found that Tory and Farrah were both injured. She put Farrah's head in her lap and screamed, cussed, and threatened to slap Farrah if she fell asleep. She made her stay awake which the doctors say saved her life as well as Mike Sr.'s fast actions of applying pressure to the wound. They are both heroes.

    I am posting because people are talking about a "Farrah Soudani Fund" site. THIS SITE IS A FAKE. Especially on the facebook page you will notice they say nothing of Farrah's condition and was only created on Tuesday. The gofundme accounts were created on the Friday of the shootings by family friends and family members. Victoria Albright is heading Farrah's page because Heidi (Farrah's Mom) is extremely busy with Farrah. Both of these sites were created for Mike and Farrah and are the only sites that the news organizations have been passing around. DO NOT DONATE to the IT IS A FAKE SITE and the money WILL NOT go to Farrah. Please ONLY donate to the site listed on the chive and major news stations I am the one who got Victoria, Heidi, and the Soudani family in contact with my friend Royce who set this up on the chive. Again, please pass this around.


    Shandell Baker, daughter of the humble and silent hero, Carol (Michelle) Reese.

    • What?

      But….Victoria (the runner of the gofundme site) said it was legit. She said it was set up by Jordan, her brother and they were well aware of the gofundme page. Saying the Farrah Soudani Fund site is a fake doesn't add up if Victoria Albright says it is legitimate and run by her brother?

      • What?

        Her post:

        "@Garrett … Jordan Soudani has started his own fund for his sister, and is not saying he doesn't know us, just that this site is separate from the other. 🙂 Jordan is very aware of who we are, as is his mother, no worries…we are about love and light and will continue to send only Love out for Farrah and the others victims. CHIVE ON!"

        • Shandell Marie Baker

          Where was this? I was just texting her and she said it was '"so sad" that someone else had set up a different donation page. Perhaps I misunderstood her and if that is the case I do sincerely apologize. I just didn't want Farrah to get screwed over. The facebook page for it said it originally didn't know what the other site was, it has since changed that. The facebook page also seems scetchy because they delete anyone's comments who question who set the site up.

      • AnotherQuestion

        And she posted his name as Michael Smith and not Michael White in his first update! She didn't know even the name of the guy that helped save Farrah's life?!?

        • Shandell Marie Baker

          She said Michael Smith by mistake, she corrected it within the same post. Please keep in mind Tory and Farrah haven't been together for years and years and most likely her family did not meet him until this happened. Also, I found the comment you were talking about, Victoria did not respond to that comment someone else did.

          Again, the facebook page especially seems sketchy but the gofundme site was created first and was the one reported with interviews of her own mother.

          Choose watch you wish but please be careful.

          • Shandell Marie Baker

            Excuse me: Choose what* you wish but please be careful.

    • Scetchy

      There are allot of inconsistencies with both sites. Hopefully we can hear from a family member and not friends of friends mothers.. Why wasn't your mother mentioned once in. The dateline story or other news stories?

      • Shandell Marie Baker

        "As most people were trying to escape, White Sr.’s girlfriend ran back into the the theater when she realized the whole family didn’t make it out. She said she held Soudani’s head in her lap and said, “You can’t go to sleep. Don’t go to sleep. Look at me.”"

        I don't know how to post a picture on her but I have a picture of my mom, Mike, and I too to "prove" that she really is my mother and Mike's girlfriend.

        My mother has been an alcoholic since I was 10 and has suffered with severe depression but has been sober/healthy for the last two months. After she left the theater Friday morning, she went into a horrible binge that lasted until Sunday evening when Mike took her to the hospital for trying to end her own life. She is now at Bridge House seeking mental help to cope with the Trauma of this. Mike is trying to convince her to go on air with him but this weekend she refused. Hopefully after she gets out she will be able to do so.

        • AChiver

          I'm sorry about your mom. I wish her the best. KCCO.

          • Shandell Marie Baker

            Thank you, she is getting the help she needs now, all uphill from here.

    • Shandell Marie Baker

      Jordan Soudani did just finally confirm it is a legitimate site. Sounds like the two sites are having a fight between each other making each other look sketchy. I am sorry for posting otherwise, I was just concerned about Farrah. Both sites are legitimate however the trust fund site does have legal documentation ensuring 100% will go to Farrah.

      Again, I sincerely apologize.

  • Michael Welch

    i would have bet 50 bucks that my first transaction involving chive would have been a sweet t-shirt, but i'm happy to throw that 50 towards an even better cause then my own vanity. well done chaps. chive on.

  • Andy in Alberta

    To all Alberta or Saskatchewan Chivers. Most or a lot of us work in the Oil Fields and make Oil Field $, it'll only take 2000 of us at $50 a piece to add another 100K to the pot. Lets show this pretty lady that geography and some line on a map wont stop us from helping neighbors in need!

    Challenge Accepted????

    • Brian

      Houston Oil $ Depolyed. Sent the link to my entire Rig Crew onboard and at home as well. Stay Safe out there. Oil Field is another bortherhood that goes a long way.

      • Andy in Alberta

        U rock my brother …btw, can ya grab me a push slap?

    • CSH

      I know Midland, TX has been in on the action this afternoon. Let's double her goal and crush Mike's as well!

      • Andy in Alberta

        Hell ya!

  • mjbaker78

    I am astounded by this support from The Chive Community. Few may know each other, or live in the same part of the world, but all share the same core, natural, humane beliefs. Chive On from your 'brother from another mother' from the UK.

  • Shadow chiver

    Come on chive! Let's do our part to help her get off to a smooth start on her road to recovery. Stay strong farrah!

  • Degator

    Since one goal was met. I gave to Mike's fund! Bless the big hearts of Chive

  • Shannon

    Done. I believe the proper description is, "hammer it sideways Chivers."

  • Jonathan

    Just did my part, KCCO and get well soon.

  • Alberto

    Chive do your thing. You are always finding ways to help others. I commend you for that. Farrah, stay strong you got this.

  • killa cal

    Did Mike junior die? Sorry to bring up the negative I just wasn't sure if he recovered from his gunshot wound through the lung….

  • nickb

    I'm not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but Mikes's page is here. He's recovering but he also has a few surgeries ahead of him

  • Scruffy1104

    i didn't see from the post, but is Mike White okay, or did he pass from his wounds.

    • Shandell Marie Baker

      Mike is fine! He was already sent home the other day, just has some physical therapy ahead of him.

  • Bdef

    Canadian Chiver trying to donate. It says it cannot authorize! Is out Canadian money not good enough? Or have we crashed out the server that bad?

  • kev

    chive continually restores my faith in humanity when i think it's all but gone.

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