Tag Archives: Children’s Heart Foundation

2009 Children’s Heart Foundation Heart Picinic

It’s hard to believe that four years ago I didn’t even know what heart defects were. I didn’t even know that some of the families I knew at the time were heart family survivors. I thought they uncommon and rare. When Jacob was born all that changed.

The moment we were life flighted to the hospital and he was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries my eyes were opened and our lives changed forever – for the better. Yes there have been many scary moments and I would have never wished or wanted our son to go through heart surgery and all the things he did, but we have grown through it and our lives are more enriched. I have met amazing people and made lifelong friends. My faith has grown in ways I never knew possible and I have found an amazing cause worth fighting for. (There are a lot of amazing causes worth fighting for – but sometimes there is that one that you feel connected to.)

On Saturday our local Children’s Heart Foundation chapter held a family picnic for CHD survivors and their families. It was fun and amazing to see Jacob running around with all the other kids and to chat with other heart moms I have come to know and love as we pray for each other, cry with each other, and celebrate and cheer with each other.

There was face painting and games and some great reminders about the importance of research – (which is what the Children’s Heart Foundation funds – research for Congenital Heart Defects). Our cardiologist was even there and it is always wonderful to see him (out of the office of course!).

We hope this new tradition of the Heart Family picnic continues and that next we can see the return of the Lion Heart Festival in addition.

2009 Heart Picnic Collage-001

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Filed under CHD, Heart, Jacob, TGA

Lion Heart Festival

Our 4th Lion Heart Festival, a fundraiser for the Children’s Heart Foundation,- 3rd year volunteering – took place on Saturday, July 12 – Along with Emily’s birthday (I will do a birthday post for her soon). We were stationed in the retail booth again – which is perfect for us, since it affords us the flexibility we need with the kids- especially a baby. It was wonderful as always to visit with heart moms and friends, and see the kids in the yellow t-shirts playing to their delight.

It was the best and biggest so far, with many new activities along with all of the old. Once the entry donation is paid everything in the festival is paid for, except the climbing wall and things purchased at the retail booth. Even lunch, cotten candy, popsicles, and snow cones. Most of the pictures we took are of Jacob – partially because he is our Lion Heart, and also because the girls were off having fun, and Jacob had to hang out with either Dad or I, so there was always a camera near him. 🙂

One really cool thing, was that Jacob’s cardiologist, Dr. Legras, was there with his family, so were were sure to snag a photo of Jacob with his awesome Doc.

Dr. Legras and Jacob

Every year they have a marimba band – Jacob and I were walking past it and he stopped in his tracks, absolutely enthralled. He refused to budge for two entire numbers – and they weren’t short! He asked all sorts of questions and got to inspect them up close. Then, when the girls came to listen, he happily joined them for more.

Watching the Marimba Band

There was a circus section where you could try riding a unicyle and other circus acts – here is Jacob learning to be a clown – wait! He has that one down pat 🙂

Jacob learning a new circus act

Jacob loved crawling through the tunnels in Pitter Patter Land

Jacob in the Tunnel

At every Lion Heart Festival there is a comunity art project where everyone contributes sometihng to the work of art and then they auction it off at the end of the day. Here is Jacob contributing his part to the comunity art project.

Jacob working on the community art project

Community Art Project

We had the bouncy house, the ring toss…

Jacob Bouncing in the Bouncy House

Ring Toss

And a visit from Elmo (there were visits from Doro and Diego too – but we never saw more than one at a time, so we think it was the same guy – just sporting different costumes – we thought that was pretty cool.

Elmo!!

Hugging Elmo

And I can’t forget about the face painting – we ended up with Dorothy as a Horse, Emily as a Butterfly, and Elizabeth as a Lion

Horse

Butterfly

Lion

James had fun too!

James

And finally there was the grand Lion Heart Parade with a photo of all the Lion Hearts at the end

Lion Heart Parade

The Heart kids at Lion Heart

The fundraiser festival was a great success, not to mention tons of fun!

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Filed under CHD, Dot, Em, Heart, Jacob, James, Lizy, TGA

Lion Heart Festival

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.

Lion Heart Festival 2006

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.

Lion Heart Festival 2006

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.

Lion Heart Festival 2006

Lion Heart Festival 2006

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. 🙂

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Filed under CHD, Family, Heart, Jacob