Matt and Ginny Mooney of Fayetteville were excited first-time expecting parents in 2006.
Their hearts full of anticipation and excitement, they instead dropped when Ginny was 30 weeks pregnant and told their first born son Eliot suffered from Trisomy 18, a genetic disease. The Mooneys were told he would not live, and a birth was very unlikely.
Eliot lived for 99 days. His life changing his parents–and others–forever and inspiring the book A Story Unfinished-99 Days with Eliot.
On Thursday night (June 27), a book launch was held in Matt’s hometown of Fort Smith. Friends, family members, and supporters came to the Fort Smith Pavilion to see two people they say are pillars of strength who have used their individual story to impact so many others. Will Dawson, a friend of the Mooneys says, “They are really good people that used this experience to do great things for a lot of families with disabilities.”
In addition to their book, the Mooneys created a global non-profit, 99 Balloons. 99 balloons was founded in 2007 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and exists to help others engage children with special needs locally and globally, according to their website. The organization is two-fold: local and global. On the local level, they equip churches to engage disability. On the global level they work with orphans with disabilities.
Matt and Ginny are both humble at accepting compliments or praise, saying, “We don’t see it as something we’ve done. We see it as we’re living out (Eliot) taught us.” Their story was featured on the Oprah Show, and a video tribute to their son, Eliot, has nearly 4 million hits.
A Story Unfinished-99 Days with Eliot can be purchased locally at Nightbird Books in Fayetteville and at Family Christian Bookstore. You can also find the book on Amazon. The Mooneys will be at Nightbird Books at 205 W Dickson Street for a book signing tonight from 5-7p.m.
Book proceeds help fund 99 Balloons., with already $3,000 raised and $50,000 in donations committed.
Matt and Ginny Mooney live in Fayetteville with their three children. They have two biological children and one adopted. Their children are Lena, 6; Hazel, 4; and Anders, 3.