I just realized that I never wrote about our attendance at the lionheart festival in Portland. On July 15 the Children’s Heart Foundation-Oregon Chapter hosted the 3rd annual Lionheart Festival at Lauralhurst Park in Portland, Oregon. We attended last year, but being pretty fresh from hospital days and new on the scene of the Congenital Heart Defect world I was not in the position to volunteer. This year, I was though, and boy did we have fun. Upon arriving I paid for our family entrance ticket and checked Jacob off. Each survivor receives a special yellow t-shirt of courage. And families receive Children’s Heart Foundation Caps, pins, bracelets, etc. The day was packed with fun. I was stationed with another couple in the ‘loot booth,’ where we took care of sales of t-shirts, heart jewlery and lion tails. I adorned my girls with tails and they strutted around the park excited to have fun and to introduce Jacob to everyone they met.
I finally got to meet families I had talked with by email, and see kids who I had prayed anxiously for through surgery. One of the major highlights of the day was when they gathered all the CHD families together for a photo, the yellow shirts were amazing, so much courage grouped together in one spot.
After the photo the heart kids led us all in a parade around the park. It was an awesome day of music, food and fun.
The very best part? Aproximately $20,000 was raised to fund research for congenital heart defects! The mission of The Children’s Heart Foundation is to fund research to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of congenital heart defects. Since 1996, The Children’s Heart Foundation has funded 24 research projects with more than $1.9 million! They have also written and published a parent resource book, “It’s My Heart,” and chartered three chapters across the United States. If you want to see a list of the research projects they have funded you can see them here.
All in all it was a wonderful and rewarding day, and I can’t wait for the next one. 🙂 I’ll post photos to flickr once I get them developed. 🙂