So touching! After losing their son in a tragic alligator attack at a Disney World resort, the parents of Lane Graves have created a memorial foundation in memory of their 2-year-old. The heartbroken parents hope this legacy will keep Lane’s spirit alive.
A memorial foundation has been set up in honor of Lane Graves, the 2-year-old boy who was killed by an alligator on June 14 while vacationing with his family at Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. But not only have Lane’s devastated parents, Melissa and Matt Graves, created a foundation, they also released a new, touching statement on their site. In it, they courageously addressed the horrific tragedy their family has faced. Read their heartfelt words below.
“After the tragic loss of our beloved 2-year-old son, Lane Thomas, we have created the Lane Thomas Foundation to honor his memory,” Melissa and Matt’s statement reads. “Losing Lane has broken our hearts in the worst possible way. While there is no way to mend our hearts, we can do good work in his honor.”
SO sad. We can’t even imagine what the Graves family is going through. “If you would like to honor Lane,” the statement continues, “donations are being accepted on behalf of the Lane Thomas Foundation at the Omaha Community Foundation. We will use these funds to make direct donations to various charitable organizations. One hundred percent of all donations will be received by the charitable cause.”
What a beautiful way to honor their young son. “We thank you for helping us create a lasting legacy for our son,” concludes the passage. A memorial service was held for Lane on June 20 following a prayer service on the evening of June 19, which took place in Elkhorn, Nebraska.
A funeral mass was also scheduled at St. Patrick Catholic Church for June 21 at 10 a.m. CT, with a burial at Resurrection Cemetery to follow. The horrible incident occurred as the toddler was playing in a foot of water at a manmade lagoon near the resort when an alligator lunged out of the water and attacked him.
Friends and family of toddler killed by gator at Disney gather to pay their respects https://t.co/kOCl83CDNM
— HLN (@HLNTV) June 20, 2016
Lane’s father tried to fight the gator off, but unfortunately he could not save his son. Lane ended up being drowned by the reptile and his body was discovered by a dive team on June 15. Since the tragedy, Matt and Melissa, along with their 4-year-old daughter, Ella, returned home to Nebraska.
“Melissa and I continue to deal with the loss of our beloved boy, Lane, and are overwhelmed with the support and love we have received from family and friends in our community as well as from around the country,” the parents said in a statement released on June 18.
“We understand the public’s interest, but as we move forward this weekend, we ask for and appreciate the privacy we need to lay our son to rest. Neither Melissa, myself or anyone from our family will be speaking publicly; we simply cannot at this time,” the family added.
Our hearts go out to the Graves family during this extremely difficult time. HollywoodLifers, please leave your condolences below.