UPDATE: Kelly and Steve Johnston continue an Annual Chili Cook Off to honor Dakota by helping to raise funds and awareness about AVMs. Please visit their website to learn more about Dakota and Kelly and Steve's inspiring efforts. http://www.dakotalanejohnston.com
October 18, 2008
Dakota Lane Johnston was born on October 20, 1999. We were a small family of just Mom, Dad, and Dakota. He loved to be around other children and enjoyed playing with all his friends. He loved to go fishing and hunting with his dad. In September 2007 we built a home on 1 acre. He loved to ride his 4 wheeler around the neighborhood and through all the mud!! He had four female cousins and was the only boy in the family but never cared, I think he really liked it. Dakota gave himself to Jesus through baptism in November 2007. He enjoyed attending church and was excited to be a Christian. Dakota passed away on May 10, 2008 from the complications of an AVM. The AVM went undiagnosed as he never had symptoms until the day it began to rupture (May 8, 2008). He touched many, many people in his short 8 years. He had a very big heart for such a small child.
Dakota was our only child and we really wanted to do something in remembrance of him on his birthday. We, along with family and friends decided to have a chili cook off to raise money for AVM research. We had the First Annual Dakota Lane Chili Cook-Off on October 18, 2008. This was a huge success! We raised close to $6000!! All the money raised has been donated to The Aneurysm and AVM Foundation. We hope that this money will help others for research. Our hopes are that by raising money at this annual event we can help discover new ways to treat AVMs or possible ways to cure AVMs. We loved the thought of "cooking for a cure." We never want to see anyone lose a child or family member to an AVM. I know by donating to the cause we will make a difference in someone's life.
-Kelly and Steve Johnston
TAAF would like to thank Kelly and Steve Johnston for their generosity and big hearts. We are honored to be able to help celebrate Dakota's life by helping to spread awareness about AVMs and children, as well as to help fund research. Many people are unaware that AVMs, as well as other vascular malformations of the brain, can affect children. To read more about AVMs and Children, please visit our AVMs and Children section.