Friday, March 28, 2008

American Heart Association Heart Walk

It's time again for the annual AHA Heart Walk. Last year's walk (what I call a Walk to Remember) was a healing experience as our family was preparing for Claira's surgery. Kaylee and T.J. gave up an chance to compete with their band in a city-wide contest, so that they could walk with us. Many of you reached out to our family and came to walk, donated to the Heart Walk website or donated to AHA by purchasing t-shirts ("Bless Her Heart").
We plan to continue participating in this event as long as possible. While Claira is repaired and healthy, many other children struggle with numerous surgeries. I believe there will come a time, through research funded by organizations like AHA, when children like Clayton will require only one surgery because of medical advancements. The medical community has already achieved so much, but there is so much more to learn.
If you would like to help Claira reach her fundraising goal, you can go to her American Heart Association Donation page ... or you can choose to purchase a t-shirt for $10.00, and we will give the remainder to AHA. The shirts are pink with brown baseball sleeves ... the print, in sports style, reads "SURVIVOR" with "Team Claira" underneath. Last year we sold over 100 shirts, and was able to donate over $500.00! The staff at Roosa Elementary wore the shirts on the day of her surgery to show our family their support. If you would like to order a shirt, please E-mail your request to (I need to place the order the first week of April).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Meet Clayton . . .

Clayton is a precious little guy that has already survived 2 major heart surgeries, with 1 more to go. He has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, where the left side of the heart (the hardest working part) is underdeveloped. Years ago this was a death sentence, but with medical advances this little guy is thriving and looks beautiful!

We met Clayton and his mother last week in Oklahoma City after our "photo op" with the Governor and other Mended Little Hearts members. In the brief time that we visited, I knew this family was special. Clayton has an older brother named Colin who was born with the same defect in 2004. He spent 7 1/2 months of his little life in the hospital, and went through 4 surgeries. Colin passed away at 8 months of age, as his little body couldn't recover from the many surgeries.

I have felt such a connection with Clayton's Mom; she too wants to someday become a nurse to help children such as ours. Clayton has a website, click here if you want to read more about this amazing family.

Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos

Thank you David and Gina Brim for helping to express our gratitude for an amazing show of compassion and generosity.