Thank you for joining our JACKSTRONG Team!
Why We are Walking:
It seems like just yesterday that our sweet Jack was born Christmas Eve in 2014. As we were all transported to Children's Hospital around 10pm, the horror set in that our baby, just hours old, was sick. His heart was not working. Incredible doctors were called out of Christmas Eve midnight mass at Gesu to come meet with us in the early morning hours Christmas day to go over the plan to fix Jack's heart (and ours). The day after Christmas, our Jack was strong enough to undergo a successful open heart surgery to fix his transposition of the great arteries. Little did we know that what we needed was not the 15 burp clothes, or swaddles, or all the other items I registered for. What we needed was a hospital like Children's to save our son's life.
That Christmas, we got a glimpse into a different world. The world of parents with sick children. The world of leaving the hospital each night with an empty car seat, going home to a nursery with an empty crib. The world of 2am calls to the ICU floor nurses (God bless them) to get an update on your baby's breathing. The world of decorating not your child's nursery, but their ICU room. We hung a few decorations in Jack's room, but we were neighbors with children whose rooms were filled with decorations from Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the most heartbreaking, decorations from multiple birthdays spent in these rooms. A world of children waiting for new hearts, taking laps around the wing with IVs decorated as a trucks and cars to make them less scary. A world of parents who sacrifice everything, quitting jobs so one parent can stay with their child while the other tries to maintain normalcy for their other children. You've never seen such bravery - these children with broken hearts. It will, quite literally, break yours. That Christmas, we got a glimpse into a world so terrifying that Michael and I can still look at each other and, without saying a word, start crying when we hear a story of a sick child.
Three years later, we celebrate Jack's health and the fact that we got to leave that world for the most part behind. But a part of that terror stays with us.
It's now our time to give back to help support those families who are still bravely fighting their battles.
By running or walking in this event for Children's, we know we are raising funds that support the care provided to kids, from life-saving cancer and heart treatments all the way to life-changing community care. Every day, Children’s is working to make Wisconsin kids the healthiest in the nation and my support and fundraising is critical to this work.
Community investment in Wisconsin’s kids has afforded many of Children’s amazing accomplishments and has helped to pave the way for an exciting future. Here is a snapshot of what community support has enabled:
~ Translational research that improves patient care and outcomes and continues to move toward cellular therapies that will eventually prevent disease
~ Countless programs and services that support families and are not reimbursed by Medicaid or other insurance
~ Sustained extraordinary care in our heart program, leading the country with a nationally ranked, outcomes-based program
We can make a real difference for an organization making a real difference for kids. If you have it in your heart to help, please donate now.
The Kelly and Kersey Families
Our fundraising goal: $1,000.00
Raised to date: $1,325.00