Monday, February 4, 2013

Close To Our Hearts

**Disclaimer: I wrote this to explain why this is such a big deal to our family but as I reread it I realized it sounds more like a commercial similiar to those of Sally Struthers or Sarah McLochlan.  I promise I'm not using guilt to encourage donations.  But I know there are those of our family and friends that will understand my need to share and express myself.  Seriously.  Not begging.  Just sharing.**

It's funny what nighttime does to our imaginations.  Sometimes a thought enters our brains as we close our eyes and vivid images swirl around, touching our emotions.  Those emotions can be comforting, exciting, or scary enough to keep us awake.

This has been happening for Matthew lately.  This summer he'll turn 9.  Not only will he one year away from double digits, but he'll be preparing for his next cardio MRI.  Insert long sigh here.

October 2005
Matt has always been a very quiet boy.  Quiet, but perceptive.  He knows that an MRI is necessary to plan and prepare for his next heart valve replacement.  And even though a catheter may be used instead of open heart surgeries when he gets bigger, he may be too small for a catheter next time.

And so, at night, Matt's mind begins racing and he thinks of his own mortality. 

I wish I were the type of person that is fine letting him believe there's nothing to worry about.  But I feel strongly that knowledge is power.  I don't want him waking up from anesthesia and panicking when he sees tubes draining blood and fluids out of his chest.  I want him to know that even though his heart condition is scary, lots of people love him and pray for him.  We have open and honest conversations several nights a week. 

March 2007
So when Matthew brought home a packet of information about his school participating in the American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart event, he was very interested.  He told me he wants to help raise money for other kids to have the help they need.  I explained to him that these fundraisers help kids like HIM.  Also, when we first learned about his heart condition we got a lot of information about it from the American Heart Association.  This is an organization that has helped our family.

November 2012
Matt and his sisters have now signed up to participate in the Jump Rope for Heart.  They have websites created for each of them to accept donations for their jump roping attempts.  Of course, I'm going to need to stop by the store and purchase a few more jump ropes so they can practice between now and February 15.  They are nervous that they won't be able to jump enough. 

I think the idea of this fundraiser has helped Matt feel a little more empowered.  He can't do anything to heal himself, but at least he can jump some rope and help an organization that helps "kids with special hearts" (as quoted from the flyer the kids brought home from school).  And I don't know anyone with more of a special heart than Matthew.

If you'd like to donate, please visit these links by February 15, 2013:
Matthew's page (Donation goal: $14)
Abby's page (Donation goal: $100)
Emma's page (Donation goal: $20)

1 comment:

Patricia Ulrich said...

What a precious boy you have Shelly... and really, what an amazing family. I really do <3 you guys, and I will be donating. To all three.