Firefighter helps grieving family

Dexter Ray

December 21, 2009 9:00:00 PM PST
A family in Mebane is dealing with the sudden loss of their teenage son.Eighth grader Dexter Ray collapsed in gym class last week and later died.

"Fun loving 14-year-old who loved sports, love being active, just loved life," Ray's father Dexter Ray Sr. said. "I'm still trying to get a grasp of that don't know if I ever will I mean it's very difficult ever since I can remember waking up Christmas morning with him."

During the family's difficult time, neighbor and Durham Fire Captain Mark Law is hoping to make things a little easier on them.

"Dexter touched my family in a unique way that we asked the family is there something we could do; we're willing to help, and when another father looks at you in the eyes and says we need help. You just feel obligated you want to help," Law said.

The teenager's death came as a total shock.

"We were aware since I guess last June that he had a heart condition, but nothing to this extent," Dexter Ray Sr. said.

The very next day Captain Law went to RBC bank and setup a fund. Now anyone can make a donation to the Ray family.

"This has been a horrible time for the family to have to bury a child, unexpectedly, and then have to try to put on a happy face for four other children," Law said.

Since their son's death, the Ray family has had an outpouring of community support. People have donated money, toys and Dexter's classmates have even reached out by sending dozen's of cards and letters.

Ray's father says it means the world to him to know his son was loved.

"We've really been shocked with the lives that my son has touched I mean just to show up and be supportive of what they have has really been amazing," he said.

You can make a donation to the Ray family at any RBC Bank branch just ask to give to the Dexter Ray Memorial Fund.

The Ray family plans to use the money to pay for Dexter's funeral and Christmas presents for their other four children.

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