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Milwaukee man given new heart in transplant helps young people realize their dreams

Posted: 11:47 AM, Feb 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-15 23:33:06-05
Darrin Reasby with heart-shaped cakes

He's an artist, chef, teacher, creator and entrepreneur -- a man of many talents.

After he was forced to face his mortality, Darrin Reasby is now a survivor who brings people together to help young people dream big.

Reasby does not play the lottery. He says he already won a year and a half ago when he got a new heart.

"I already got my ticket...I already got my heart...I already won the lottery...you can't just buy a heart," Reasby said.

A new heart was the only option when Darrin was diagnosed with end-stage heart disease. Doctors say his heart was only working at 20 percent.

A heart transplant at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin saved his life.

"I feel alive!" he said.

Now this longtime Milwaukee artist is on a mission to encourage young people to think entrepreneurship.

"He actually helped me start my own boutique, its called "Lights, Camera, Action. It's for young girls 6-16," 19-year-old Daisha Moss said.

Financial literacy is just one reason Darrin Reasby and local photographer Yvonne Kemp run Born2Dream. It's a program offering young girls important life skills.

Kemp says the young girls learn "how to be a lady. We call them divas. What it truly means to be a good young lady."

Jazale's Art Studio in Milwaukee features Born2Dream artists in it's latest exhibit.

"We want people to see this we want the community to see this. We want kids to see this...I think this is a place where something in here is going to spark everybody who comes in," gallery owner Darren Hill said.

Reasby's, Kemp's, and Moss' artwork are all on display.

"I began Born2Dream when I was in the sixth grade. I was really shy at that time. That's one thing it has helped me do, it has helped me overcome some of that shyness and definitely has built up my confidence," Moss said.

Darrin Reasby is determined to stay creative and help nurture the young. He's also set up an online bakery business called "RU Kidding." It's mission is to teach youth cooking skills and how to run a business. After a lifesaving heart transplant, Reasby knows how fragile life can be.

"If I stop doing what I'm doing a little of me falls apart, because that's what keeps this heart going," he said.