I am incredibly grateful to have been accepted to Team Eye and Ear this year!! This will be my first marathon and I could not be more ready! I decided to apply in honor of our son, Jacob Jordan Strasnick, and all the patients of Operation Airway. Operation Airway is a group of physicians from Mass. Eye and Ear and Mass General who carry out surgical procedures in the US and abroad to restore and rebuild children’s airways. They aim to make life-changing airway reconstructive surgery and post-operative care available to all children who cannot breath or speak on their own. You can learn more about Operation Airway here: https://www.masseyeandear.org/patients-visitors/programs/operation-airway
MEEI has truly changed our lives. Jacob was misdiagnosed until Dr. Hartnick took him in as a patient at seven months old. The following month, Jacob was diagnosed at Mass General with urticaria pigmentosa - a skin condition that went misdiagnosed as well; at different hospitals and by many doctors. Both institutions, Mass. Eye and Ear and Mass General will always hold a major part of our hearts forever because they took the time to determine what was ailing Jacob. When we first met with Dr. Hartnick, we knew we were in the right place immediately. Dr. Hartnick listened to Mark and me; he truly knew what to do. After countless nights in the ER, countless doctor appointments... we finally found Jacob’s doctor who would help us and who did not dismiss us. Jacob’s swallow study showed that he was aspirating silently on all feeds. At our first appointment, Dr. Hartnick knew that Jacob needed immediate care. He reassured Mark and me that he was there to help. We needed to figure out why Jacob’s fevers were getting so high, why he was aspirating, why he was wheezing, why his lungs were full of fluid, and why he threw up blood; there would be a reason - structural and/or neurological . Dr. Hartnick ordered a triple scope for Jacob. We learned Jacob did have a defect; he had a type 1 laryngeal cleft. This was a good thing; there was physical proof for his aspirations and luckily, repairable through surgeries.
Dr. Hartnick and the airway team changed Jacob’s life for the better, forever. He is now a child who is able to be the happy, energetic, and carefree kid he always has been! When Jacob was sick and suffering, he was in constant agony and pain - constantly crying and unable to relax to enjoy life. Dr. Hartnick gave our baby the chance to be himself.
I am running for TEAM Eye & Ear so that children like Jacob will be granted the gift of repair, reconstruction, and comfort to be themselves through Operation Airway.
Any donation, $1, $5, $100, or more is immensely appreciated to help me reach my person goal of $10,000. Please continue to follow me on social media as I keep you updated on my progress, fundraising events, and my training runs!! Looking forward to sharing this marathon with you and spreading awareness of Operation Airway!
Operation Airway Instagram https://instagram.com/operationairway?igshid=qzy3qc0ujrx
Mass. Eye and Ear https://instagram.com/masseyeandear?igshid=e451jealpkdm
Mass General https://instagram.com/massgeneral?igshid=1ks6y5tg2hi8d