By Audrey Redmond and Courtney Redmond
Dr. Ted Mikuls delivers boxes of masks that Bronco alumni helped donate to the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
While physical distancing may be the new normal, our Bronco community is proving that it doesn't have to mean being emotionally distant. So when alumni Sean Kneafsey ’90 and Todd Rahimi ’90 learned that their friend Dr. Ted Mikuls ’90 and his team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center were struggling to obtain enough personal protective equipment to keep frontline medical professionals safe, they knew they needed to help.
“Health care providers like Ted are at very high risk of contracting this disease,” Sean explained. “We want to keep Ted and his colleagues safe so they can continue to serve their community in Omaha.”
Although Todd lives in Hong Kong where KN95 masks—the Chinese near equivalent to N95 masks—are more readily available and far less expensive than in the United States, there was still the problem of obtaining large quantities. At $1.50 per mask, he and Sean knew they needed at least $7,500 to get their friend and his team this essential protective equipment.
From his home in Los Angeles, Sean created and shared a GoFundMe page in a private Facebook group to help raise the required funds. And our Santa Clara family delivered, raising more than $13,000—nearly double the original goal—to help a fellow Bronco in need.
On May 6, boxes filled with thousands of KN95 masks arrived on Ted’s’ Nebraska doorstep. Thanks to the efforts of big-hearted Bronco alumni, UNMC medical professionals could continue their vital work in safety.
“A huge thanks to my Santa Clara family—shout out here to Sean and Todd for organizing—and to everyone else who saw this and donated,” Ted said. “I am extraordinarily grateful. Please stay safe!”