OMAHA, Ne (FOX42KPTM) - To Leevi Ramirez-Johnson's family, he's courageous.
"He loves music," said Amber Johnson, his mother.
At just five years old, he's already had to deal with something most children his age don't have to. His heart isn't where it should be.
"It's on the right side and it's backwards. It has three holes and one ventricle."
That's a medical condition known as dextrocardia. Health experts say it affects less than one percent of the population. It can be life-threatening if it prevents vital organs from functioning properly.
"His oxygen goes low a lot. We're waiting for the next heart surgery."
Ramirez-Johnson's family is now in the process of collecting money for a service dog. They say it will help when Leevi suffers from low oxygen and needs immediate attention.
"When he needs to stop or slow down or take his inhaler."
Johnson told FOX 42 News Friday her family needs $20,000 to pay for a service dog that requires intensive training.
"We still have to get all of the dog supplies and all that kind of stuff."
Leevi's family is also hoping to raise awareness about the medical condition. Even if it is rare, medical researchers say it still affects about one in 12,000 people. There are about seven billion people in the world now.
"If it wasn't for family and prayer, this would be hard."
Johnson says about $10,000 has been collected so far for Leevi. She's looking for $10,000 more.
If you would like to donate to Leevi and his family, click on the links below: