This July I will be riding for the second time in the Courage Classic and I am so excited! It is a wonderful opportunity for me to get on my bike and ride for an amazing cause. As part of the Cardiac Climbers, we have a tradition of riding with a Heart Warrior’s picture on our back during the two day 80+ mile ride through the mountains. Last year I dedicated my first Courage Classic in memory of Delbert and this year I will be adding on to my list and riding in honor of another Heart Warrior: Lily.
Here is Miss Lily’s Story:
Lily was born on February 27, 2004 with a brain malformation called Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC) and a completely healthy heart. Because communication between the left and right hemispheres of Lily’s brain was impeded it took exponential effort for Lily to learn to chew, talk, and walk and her cognitive development has always been delayed. Her sweet spirit and commitment to persevere would prove to serve her well when she suddenly got sick in 2018.
Just days before her fifteenth birthday Lily’s parents took her to the emergency room for terrible stomach pains but the diagnosis they received was Dilated Cardiomyopathy; her heart was enlarged and barely functioning. This is when I first met Lily. I was her night shift nurse the night before her birthday. Throughout the night I brought in colorful pictures and signs to decorate her room so that when she woke up in the morning she could maybe, for a moment, think about just her birthday and not the fact that she was spending it in the hospital. It was a small moment of joy for her before the tough road ahead. Over the next five months all the nurses and doctors at Children’s hospital worked to keep pace with Lily’s rapidly changing condition and in late July of 2018, Lily received a new heart!
The recovery process has been amazing!! Besides her scar, you might not know there was a recent intense struggle. You certainly wouldn’t expect it as you watch her playing basketball each Tuesday afternoon! But if you asked she would gladly share with you about her old heart named “Jabba the Heart” because it was big and mushy!! She wouldn’t stop until you knew all about her new heart she calls “Dwayne … because it is so big and strong like The Rock.”
Lily and her family are so thankful for the care they received at the Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Please consider a donation of any amount to help me reach my fundraising goal so that the Heart Institute can continue to care for Heart Warriors like Lily!