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Monday, November 8, 2010

Our Walk for CHD

Hearts. It's kinda become my thing.

I'm a proud heart mom. I have found amazing people in the heart community to connect with. I am trying to become involved slowly in as many things as possible for support and companionship. Being around other heart moms is as comforting as a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cool evening. I love seeing other miracle children thriving and having those who lost their life too soon to a congenital heart defect imprint on my soul. On top of all of that, I feel so strongly about keeping Gabriella involved not only to be an example to others of the fight one little body can put up but also so she always knows there is a community out there that shares this common life experience... no matter what she does she will always have something different than others, but she is not alone. So you can say I'm a little passionate about hearts and those little heroes who fight!

We were the first team to sign up for the Congenital Heart Walk when it was first released! Gabriella's Sparkly Heart team grew and grew and by walk day November 7 we had 35 people and 5 doggies walk in red for Gabriella, Abbie and all of our heart friends! We raised a total of $1154 for the Children's Heart Foundation!!!!!!!!

We walked the 1 mile family walk, since we had a few strollers, dogs and kids to handle. Our sea of red shirts showed strength. Gabriella has been so strong since her diagnosis, but the strength of those people around us has always been the glue to keep us together, today being no different.
From CHD Walk

Everyone did great! The kids had fun and the doggies pooped out halfway through... lol! Something about this picture makes me tear up, probably because it represents in imagery the last 18 months. I will never quit pushing Gabriella to her potential just like she will never quit striving forward.
From CHD Walk

And the funnest shot of the day.... my girl crossing the finish line!!!
From CHD Walk

It was important to me to not just walk for Gabriella, but all of those we have gotten to know in our journey. We walked with a dozen heart balloons, each with names written on them in Sharpie for heart heroes.
From CHD Walk

We had balloons for angels gone to heaven Cohen, Ewan, Joshua, Cora and our own heart donor Abbie. We carried balloons for transplant miracles Logan, Mason, Ruby, Alexis and Gabriella. We carried balloons for those sweeties waiting for a heart Katy & Lydia. We carried balloons for those kiddos who have overcome surgeries or who are fighting strong right now Carlie, Mathilda, Owen, Grace, Laura, Bowen, Lauren, Braedyn, Evan, Lilly. And we released an extra balloon for all of those we have not met or got to know yet who are still heroes in our book! After we completed the walk, we released them to the heavens... sending thank you's and prayers to God for each CHD fighter.

From CHD Walk

Thank you to everyone who walked or supported our team! It was a great honor to do the walk and can't wait to see the event grow next year!!!!!


Kerry Leary said...

You don't know me but I found your blog through another heart mom...Amiee. I have been following your beautiful little girl's progress and I'm so happy that she is doing this well and that you are able to do this walk. I am also a heart mom of a 4 month old little girl named Molly. She has been in Children's Hospital Boston since she was born. She was born with an ASD, VSD, common AV canal, an interrupted IVC and Heterotaxy syndrome. She had her first heart surgery when she was a week old, her first open heart suregery when she was 2 months old and a week later went back in for her second open heart surgery to repair the valve that we had fixed the first time. We don't have much time with her being in the hospital to give back to everyone that has given to us so I have made a donation on your behalf. Good luck and I will continue to follow Gabriella's progress. I also have a website for Molly if you'd like to do the same. Her website is

The Simmons Family said...

I'm glad you had a successful walk! I wish we could have been there. Next year!

Great speech for the Gala!!!

Danielle said...

I love the balloons. I didn't even know that you guys were doing that and yet I'm crying to think about how you carry my daughter Lily in your heart like that. I'm such a sap :)

Little heart heroes... you might be extraordinarily unique, but you are not alone! (And you are very loved.)

P.S. Kristi... can I steal the heart balloon picture?

The Mason Family said...

I LOVE that you included Carlie in the walk with you, just as much as I LOVE you, Gabriella, Paul and PJ!!! Thank you <3