Tristan Ballinger is an 18-year-old young man from LaGrange, Kentucky who has a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and is being treated at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in downtown Chicago. Daniel Guerrero, Alyssa’s cousin, met Tristan and his parents, Nicole and Mike, on Tuesday, July 31st to deliver the electric guitar.
Tristan heard about the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) when he participated in Alyssa’s Celebration of Life held at RMH Chicago on Sunday, July 22, 2018. Tristan shared with us that before his injury, he played 2 sports – wrestling and baseball. He also spent time hunting on weekends and enjoyed music very much. Tristan said that when he was young, he attended a rock band summer camp and learned to play the song, Smoke on the Water, on the piano. Tristan also said he had an interest in music back in middle school and signed up for Band where he played the trumpet.
Tristan was excited to submit a request through AAFH and asked for an electric guitar, one of his favorite instruments. He is looking forward to learning how to play his guitar while singing and wants to be able to make up his own songs and perform them.
The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope’s goal is to inspire teens and young adults to be creative and give them hope to continue living life to its fullest.