I’ve begun this blog, to basically journal my new endeavor. I have decided to start a chapter of The Children’s Heart Foundation in Virginia.

The Children’s Heart Foundation raises money to fund research for Congential Heart Defects (CHD)… the number one birth defect. My daughter, Caitlynn Marie, turned 2 months old on Mother’s Day. The day after, she landed in the ER with the croup. On our follow up visit with her pediatrician, he noticed a “swoosh” sound in between her heart beats. I listened and heard this “swoosh” as well. He suspected she had a VSD –Ventricular Septal Defect. He recommended we see a pediatric cardiologist. She had her 2 month well visit coming up, so I decided to seek a second opinion. Sure enough, he also recommended she see the cardiologist.

We saw Dr. McQuilken out of Pediatric Cardiologists. He personally did her ultrasounds of her heart and neck. He found both the VSD and another CHD called PDA- Patent Ductus Arteriosus. Thankfully, our sweet Cait has very mild cases of both. Her VSD is so tiny that it doesn’t need to be medicated, and the doctor indicated she could live her whole life normally with that small hole in her heart and it should not have any affect on her quality of life. The PDA is a little more cause for concern, but not much. The vessel is open, but just barely, so the blood flow through it is minimal. For now we do not need to treat it with medicine. Dr. McQuilken thinks both issues will most likely resolve on their own. Cait will go to see him again when she is 6 months old.

Research for CHD has been on my heart and mind for a very long time. I have a dear friend, Alexis Jacobs, who had a precious little baby girl in April of 2002. Allison was born with several CHD’s. On August 13, 2002, sweet Allison went home to be with Jesus following open heart surgery. I vowed then to raise money for research… only life seemed to get in the way. 4 children later, and my own child with 2 CHDs… I am back on my mission to raise money for this awesome and pertinent cause!

I am currently scouting out people who would be interested in helping me get our chapter started. I’m also looking for a “pro bono” attorney, CPA and printer. Eventually, I’ll be looking for people to serve on the board and corporate sponsorship.

I’m also currently organizing a Golf Tournament as our first Virginia Chapter of CHF fundraiser. We are hoping for a date in October. I would love for people to help me put this together.

So, this begins my journey. I hope to blog here often as possible with updates on the progress of beginning this Chapter of The Children’s Heart Foundation. I will also post information here on fundraisers and events as they are planned.

Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to be involved in any capacity.