OGDEN -- One man's misfortune literally is becoming a miracle for some children in need.
Darwin Osborn, of Riverdale, was laid off from his job at Jacobson Construction in January, and he's also dealing with an injured back.
But his response has been to get to work organizing fundraisers for two children in need: 4-year-old Alex Cox, of Salt Lake City, who was born with only three heart valves and multiple other congenital heart defects, and Sabrina Tyann, 15, of North Ogden, who has multiple heart conditions and congenital central hypoventilation syndrome, a disorder that causes her breathing to be shallow.
"This here has really been on my mind, so I'm not sitting home and feeling sorry for myself," Osborn said. "That's what's been a blessing about this."
Osborn also has been inspired by having lost a 3-year-old daughter, Amy Jo, in 1983, when she was accidentally electrocuted. He then nearly lost a stepson, Robert Barfuss, of Clearfield, in 1992 when, at age 4, Barfuss was diagnosed with leukemia.
"The real core of it is when the parents are in the hospital and not working," Osborn said, speaking from his experience.
"There are a lot of problems created behind the scenes. There are a lot of things that start losing in that family. ... If some of us start to notice the other problems going on behind the scenes, we can make it better."
So what Osborn decided to do was help the families of these youngsters, who all have local ties, raise the funds they need to see Alex through a long list of heart surgeries and to get Sabrina to Chicago Memorial Hospital for four days for extensive treatment involving multiple doctors and specialists.
"I've been associated with the music business for quite a few years," Osborn said. "I've always made a point, when a family is struggling with medical bills, I will step up to help them out."
The effort has led to fundraisers -- a concert and two motorcycle poker runs.
"I was looking for help with a flier, and the next thing you know, we're going into a full-force benefit that's going to do some good," Osborn said of his approaching a motorcycle club and lounge.
The fundraisers are just the latest in a list of efforts Osborn has made to help those with exorbitant medical expenses.
Osborn has spent the past few weeks pulling together a fundraiser for Alex.
The event will come to life Thursday with a concert that will include an array of local bands, including Prodigy Stone, Scotty Hayes, Kristie DeVries and Acoustic on the Loose, and Ferrin Jacobs. Special guests include John Rogers and Penny Orozco.
Osborn describes these entertainers as a mix of rock 'n' roll, folk rock, classic rock and acoustic blues.
A motorcycle poker ride on May 7 will also raise funds to help Alex.
The Tribe MC motorcycle riding group and The Hog-Den stepped up to organize the event when they heard about Osborn's concert efforts.
Osborn said of The Tribe MC, "They've been very good about anything to help this little Alex out. They also got busy and helped me start getting the donated gifts."
Osborn said he's expecting more than 200 motorcycle riders to attend the event.
A similar ride is set for April 16, also beginning at The Hog-Den. This poker ride will raise funds for Sabrina.
Anyone can participate and can ride in a car if they wish.
Osborn said 100 percent of the proceeds from his upcoming events benefit the children for which they are designated.
Those who can't make it to the concert or motorcycle ride but wish to contribute to Alex's cause may do so at any Wells Fargo Bank under the name Alex Cox.
To make an in-kind donation or ask questions, call Osborn at 801-695-0685.