Yesterday, Animoto lost someone who meant the world to us – to us as a company, and to many of us as individuals.
Eli Horn was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, neuroblastoma, in June of 2007. He was 3. He left Iowa with his dad, Aaron, and headed to New York City for cancer treatment.
A few months after Animoto launched in August of 2007, we got an email from Aaron. He had been using Animoto to share Eli’s progress to their family and friends back home in Iowa. He thanked us for the product’s ability to tell Eli’s story in a more uplifting way than he had previously been able. We were honored and moved to have been able to help the Horns.
We responded and invited them to our office. One week later, over Italian food in our (at the time very cramped!) office, we hung out with Eli for the afternoon. Hands down, his was one of the brightest spirits we had ever met, and we as a company were taken aback by how wonderful both he and Aaron were.
We continued to see Eli throughout the years. On his frequent trips to New York for treatment, if he had enough energy, he would stop by the office and make us all laugh as we played video games and rough-housed in our conference rooms. Some of us had the chance to visit him at the Ronald McDonald House, where we met many other beautiful children fighting similar diseases.
Our hearts broke when we heard that he lost his fight to cancer yesterday morning.
He will live on in our hearts. And while Eli is most definitely a part of Animoto’s history, we feel more honored to have been part of his. We will miss him very much, and our hearts go out to everyone else who knew and loved him, especially his parents, Aaron and Lacey, and his brother Isaiah.
If you are interested in joining the fight to cure neuroblastoma, please visit Band of Parents to find out how you can contribute financially or with your time. More details will also be posted on Eli’s Facebook page. We are doing what we can to make sure Eli’s legacy lives on.