Mar 8, 2009

Jamie's Heart Gala

This is Tim, (top right) founder of Jamie's Heart Foundation. He started a foundation after losing his little daughter to a congenital heart defect. We were invited to the second annual gala that was held in Tacoma. It was a beautiful evening with heart themed everything. I loved all of the heart details! I am in awe of how many parents reach out to other families experiencing what they went through with their own children. Tim and his wife have created an amazing legacy for their daughter, and I felt privileged to be a part of it all. My favorite part of the evening was watching a slide show of Jaime's journey, it was really touching. Now that I am a heart mommy I look forward to many more years of events like this. This is an incredible foundation! Thank you Jamie's Heart, and Erika Kate foundations- for showing us heart families what amazing parents are given these miracle kids.

When we got there we there were a few friendly faces. Jesse (pictured with Tim and me) is Luke's mommy. I was so excited to see her. She's Great! We got to visit, and I met other heart families that live locally.

The other friendly face (top left) is my cardiologist Chris Stefanelli. This man is responsible for keeping me alive ;-) Dr. Stefanelli is a wonderful doctor, despite delivering the news that my baby would need a transplant- all of our visits have been happy ones. I got to meet his gorgeous wife who is also a doctor. I don't think I have blogged much about my own heart defect, but I too have a congenital heart defect. Yes, it's true. Mia gets her lovely heart gene from her moma. I have had three heart surgeries and currently live with a donor valve in my heart. CRAZY I know. Who knew I would have a transplant baby... isn't my heart problem enough??? Seriously!! The valve I have now lasts 10-30 years. I am 8 years out- so this ticker still has some tick in it. So here I am a heart patient taking care of my own heart patient- that's comedy folks... a very sad twisted comedy.

To be honest I was always proud of my heart problems. I liked missing school, spending the day with my mom, eating whatever I wanted, and stealing purse loads of sugar free suckers from the Dr. offices. Minus the surgeries, it really has been fun to have something unique about myself.

Boy o Boy do I feel differently being the mom of a heart patient. Obviously what I have been through with my heart is a far cry from my sweet little Mia's experience. No amount of sugar free suckers will ever mask the intense pain my heart has experienced this year. I hope at my next check up my heart will not reveal the torture it has been through. Someday I will blog about my own heart journey. For all you moms with mild to moderate heart defect babies, know that my mom was able to make it a positive experience for me! Until Mia- I knew no heart sadness. With each smile she makes the sadness disappear. I worry about her future, but try my darnedest to live for today. Someday Mia and I will do something great for the CHD community, for now I am just going to let those little smiles heal this mommy heart.


Analisa-creator of hairblingzcutethings said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Analisa-creator of hairblingzcutethings said...

sorry, i deleted as i posted too soon. wow, i have tears again. i never thought about that your valves had a "time limit." Mia really is amazing and i know soon all your trials and tears will be a faded memory fully of many more smiles. You and Mia are both fighters and it's obvious she gets that from you. I'm glad you were able to have an enjoyable evening and get to know some local heart mommies. i love you guys.

Katie said...

You all look spectacular! Looked like such a fun evening and I'm glad you and Jesse got to spend time together, I just love her. She's shared about Jamie's foundation before, how amazing her parents are, etc. It's so humbling that there are so many people who are affected by CHD's. I'm glad you shared some about your heart, I look forward to your future post about it and for the record, I think it's amazing how you're dealing with it and Mia's. It is so ironic but God knew what He was doing when he made you both with special tickers!!! What you've given back to all of us with your wonderful words, experience, and great attitude is simply, uplifting!!!

Rachel Smith said...

This is really random but I wanted to email you and let you know that your story is so inspiring. I don't know if you remember me...We took a photography class together when you found out about Mia's heart defect and shortly after the class ended I found out the baby I was carrying would be born with a heart defect as well. I couldn't remember your blog name but I recently found a card with Rebecca's blog which linked me to yours...I was so happy to see how you are doing! I have been reading through it and love to see the triumphs you and little Mia have made. My son Stockton just had heart surgery and is doing great. He also has Down syndrome and receives therapy on a weekly basis from A Step therapist was here today and said that the center was taking on a new family who's daughter just had a heart transplant. I asked her if the family was from Puyallup and she said yes and I wondered if it was you. Anyway the therapy center is amazing and you will love having weekly visits. Hopefully Candi will be your educator because she is great. Anyway totally random, I know, but I just wanted to say hello and wish you the best.

The Hands said...

Thanks for being transparent and sharing about yourself. It is encouraging to see and adult CHDer with all that you have going for you. Keep up the good work with Mia. I can't imagine the bond you two must have.

Shelley Eggett said...

I have chills! What a sweet post, and an awesome bond you two will always have with such special hearts.

Steven and Whitney said...

I often thought of your journey as you went through this new journey with Mia. You were not only a strong heart patient, you are now a stronger heart mother for what you have been through. Love ya!

Princess Pookie said...

Wow, you are your hubs are looking so dapper!:)Miss ya!

The Smith's said...

What a great post, and a great night! I was so happy you and John were there ... even if we didn't get to sit next to each other ;)

And I agree, Tammi S. is GORGEOUS! I had never met her either. It is always so strange to me that Dr. S. knows so much of our lives, but not vice versa!

I would love to hear more about your heart journey, and what you said about yours being positive, I loved it. I have always believed that Luke's experience doesn't have to be this dreadful thing. I believe that what he has gone through and will go through, with our help as parents, can be a positive.

I'll call you soon and we can have a house-arrest play date!

Love, Jesse

Trudi said...

Hi Mimi~
thank you for going and visiting Karlee and Devon while at Children's yesterday. Having heart mom's will get her through the adjustments along the way. She's so afraid of hurting people's feelings while protecting Karlee. With support from mom's like you, her journey won't be done "alone". Thanks again~ Devon's cousin, Trudi (Puyallup)