My biggest Heart Heroes are the parents who’ve lost their children and yet find the power to fight for my child and the millions like him. One of my biggest heart heroes is Betsy Peterson, the founder of the Children’s Heart Foundation.
Betsy lost her little boy Sam when he was eight, but Betsy didn’t hide from the world, she changed it. She honored Sam by creating a foundation that funds research to save children like him. She didn’t have the answers she needed, so she worked to find those answers and solutions through medical research. Betsy is my hero and someone I try to emulate without the catalyst of such a tragedy. I don’t know if I could do what she did if I lost Liam, but because of the work she has done to advance CHD research, I may never lose him. How can she be anything but my hero?
My newest Heart Heroes are the Days. When I first met Peter Day, he wasn’t a heart dad. He was fourteen and so was I. We were high school freshmen in 1988 at the Lab School in Greeley, Colorado, in a class of less than seventy students. Who knew that we would both grow up to have two little blonde boys with Hypoplastic Right Hearts? The odds were certainly against it.
Tragically, Peter and his beloved wife Kim, lost their son Jake after a heart-lung transplant. Jake was an adorable little boy who was loved not only by his parents but by his brother and sisters. The Day Family could have run away from their pain, but it would just find them again. So instead, they are running for a cause. They took a twelve person team to run across the state of Maryland in 24 hours to raise money for Children’s Hopsital of Philadelphia’s Heart-Lung Transplant Program. Their goal was $10,000 and they’re at over $4,000 today.
Can you spare $10 to tell Heart Heroes like Peter and Kim and Betsy, that not only do we honor their children, but to acknowledge that they honor us? These Heart Heroes honor all Heart Parents and all of humanity by taking the worst thing that can happen to any parent and transforming their very personal and deep pain into something that gives hope even after it seemed all hope was lost.
Please consider a small donation for a big cause. The world doesn’t have enough true heroes and the ones we have deserve our support. Click here to donate and see Jake’s picture.