My colleague Kelby and I will be running the NY Half Marathon on March 18 and have started a fundraiser to help raise money for CHD awareness and to run to support Mighty Mike!
With February being American Heart Month, we’d like to do what we can to help raise awareness of Congenital Heart Disease and to support the research efforts of The Children’s Heart Foundation. If Michael can undergo multiple open heart surgeries and keep smiling, completing a half a marathon pales in comparison (but I don’t think we’ll be smiling through those last miles!)
❤️ Michael Dean was born in October 2012 with multiple, severe Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs): Pulmonary Atresia, Transposition of the Great Arteries and an extremely large VSD (a hole so large it cannot be repaired). Michael was diagnosed in utero at his 20 week ultra sound. It wasn’t until countless tests and echo cardiograms that he was diagnosed further with a single ventricle heart. This is not something a parent is ever prepared for.
Michael had open heart surgery at 5 days old and recovered in the hospital through Hurricane Sandy. Michael continued to thrive and grow stronger but due to his heart conditions in the following months he would need to have 2 cardiac catheterizations, needing a stent placed in one of his arteries. That then lead to his second OHS with the Bidirectional Glenn at 6 months and he was out of the hospital in less than a week! For the next 2 1/2 years Michael was able to live his life like any other toddler. Fast forward to August 2015 Michael was back in the operating room for his third open heart surgery, the Fontan procedure, completing his single ventricle heart. His surgery went incredibly well, but unfortunately Michael's recovery didn't go as well and he spent 16 days in the hospital. Those 16 days were some of the most difficult in his life. Now fast forward to today and Michael is your typical 5 year old boy, full of energy, independent, stubborn, happy and full of life. He started Kindergarten in the fall! Michael has proven to be one of the strongest kids you’ll ever meet. He certainly lives up to his name, Mighty Mike!
Michael will need a heart transplant in his 30s, something we are hopeful will change with technology and research. It's also a constant reminder that his heart will not be 'cured', there currently is no cure and this is something he will have to live with the rest of his life. We dread the day he fully understands what his 'special heart' means, but at the same time know he will take that and do what he was destined to do...spread CHD awareness and touch the lives of all those around him. No matter what his obstacle is, we know Michael will fight with all his heart. ❤️
Together, we ask that you share Michael’s story and spread awareness to help researchers find new and long lasting ways to help those born with CHD. Please help us by making a donation, any amount will make an impact, as we continue training for the long run.
See you all at the finish line!
Sarah & Kelby