Thanks to the Rogers Family, today, I was able to offer Genevieve an experience similar to that which has kept me going on this CHD journey for the past 7+ years.
From the moment we had a diagnosis, I became obsessed with researching her congenital heart defect. Some of that was a search for parents who have “been there, done that”. I wanted to see happy children, happy teenagers, happy adults living life. I needed hope; I needed to believe that she had a future and she would walk this Earth with purpose.
Making those connections, both online and in the real world became a source of comfort for me. Sharing the milestones, seeing their children grow, start school, playing with friends – most of all smiling. All of the happy beautiful smiles. One of the connections that I made online was Valerie Rogers. I followed her daughter’s surgery and delays due to a shortage of blood products. I watched her family and community rally around her to make a difference in the lives of many through awareness of congenital heart defects, the mission of the American Red Cross and the importance of blood donation in general.
Today, I was able to meet Valerie, her husband Alan and their beautiful daughter Jacqueline in person after exchanging numerous messages back and forth online. With their help, I was able to offer Genevieve hope – the chance for her to see a future beyond her upcoming surgery in January. She met someone who has gone through open heart surgery at a similar age and is now smiling. Someone that is going to school and loves to dance. While we are all focused on January 14th, today, I was able to offer Genevieve comfort in seeing the potential for life beyond that day. No limits, no restrictions. Living happy.