RIGBY, Idaho - A little boy from Rigby has a pretty big wish that he needs the whole community to help grant. Tayt Andersen is up for a heart transplant as soon as October, and this Saturday, his family is hosting a 5K run/walk.
Tayt Anderson first appeared on Local News 8 in 2012. Tayt was born without part of his heart, but that hasn't stopped him from capturing the heart of Ellen DeGeneres and all of east Idaho.
Tayt and his mom, Chrissy, have appeared on "The Ellen Show" three times. Ellen calls Tayt her only boyfriend.
Tayt will be 9 in October and has just barely started walking again after a hip replacement this summer.
"It shot us into transplant. We were slowly going downhill a little bit then all of a sudden his heart function has gone down. So, this is what we are doing. We are just waiting," said mom Chrissy.
The surgery for a heart transplant is nearly 20 hours long. The waiting and preparations are grueling, so the Andersens are doing what they always do: just keep swimming. Ellen is the voice of Dory in Pixar's "Finding Nemo," and Dory's "Just Keep Swimming" song keeps Chrissy and Tayt going.
Instead of swimming, Saturday, they are running.
This weekend is the first-ever "Runnin for Tayt," a 5K run/walk that family friend Spencer Admire organized.
"We don't know when we are going to be confined to a hospital, so for us, this is a big 'Everybody come out and play!' We don't know how long until we will get to play," said Chrissy.
The event starts at 8:30 a.m. and goes all day. Radio stations will play and there will be tons of great raffle prizes and auction items. Some items include tickets to a Boise State football game and large Pixar prints. There are also tons of gift cards. Admire says there is nearly $1,500 in prizes.
The community support is what gets Tayt's family through the scary times.
"He's kind of grown to be everybody's community child. The fact that everybody loves this little boy as much as I do just means the world to me," said Chrissy.
Entering the race costs $15 and includes a raffle ticket. There are also T-shirts and bracelets for sale. Organizers will accept registrations right up until the race begins.
Race Info: https://www.facebook.com/runninfortayt
Follow Tayt's Progress: https://www.facebook.com/TaytsWish