New Life for Mika and Leo

New Life for Leo and Mika

Mika had her first open heart surgery when she was a teenager.  She wasn’t expected to live to adulthood, but defying all odds, she made it well beyond. After two more open heart valve replacements and a lifelong battle with an ailing heart, eventually, at 62 years old, the doctors told Mika they could no longer patch up her weak heart: she needed a heart transplant.

Mika’s dream of riding her beautiful dressage horse, Leo, sustained her through the long wait for a new heart and a successful heart transplant last spring. Unfortunately, during her recovery, Leo also became sick and had to have surgery to address a serious sinus infection. Today, however, Mika and Leo are both finally ready to start getting fit together. 

Mika has a great support system of friends, who love her and donate their time to help her and her lovely horse. We all want to see this pair re-united. But Mika’s finances are drained from her long illness, medical bills, Leo’s surgery and follow-up vet bills, and the increased cost of feed and board.

Your donation will help pay Leo’s outstanding vet bills and fund his feed and board for the coming year. Freedom from worry about these expenses will relieve the financial stress that holds Mika back from complete healing. Leo is not only her best friend, but also her physical therapist, her ticket to rehabilitation and recovery. When she can love and ride her horse without worry, she will grow healthy and strong.

Thank you so much for your gift of love and hope to these two well-deserving lovely creatures!

Financial Breakdown:
Food and Board: $500/month
Outstanding Vet Bills = $4,800
Total Fundraising Goal: $10,800

Mika is passionate about organ and tissue donations and is an active spokesperson. She was interviewed by the Santa Cruz Sentinel a year before her transplant, and again a few months after her surgery. In both articles, she emphasized the importance of indicating your willingness to donate on your driver’s license. After her own surgery, she learned that many people benefited from the single donor who gave her the gift of life.

Rio del Mar resident Mika Younce shines light on need for organ donation registration

Rio del Mar woman celebrates life with new heart

Organ Donor Registration
  • Bill McFadden 
    • $100 
    • 71 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 73 mos
  • Laura Sinks 
    • $100 
    • 73 mos
  • Faith Zack 
    • $50 
    • 73 mos
  • Paul Sargia 
    • $50 
    • 74 mos
See all


Mika C. Younce 
Rio Del Mar, CA
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