Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Ryan's Blanket

A few weeks before I had Nova, my best friend Trish gave birth to her son Ryan.

Trish and I have known each other since we were 11. I'm not doing math for yas, but that was 2 decades (plus some) ago. Our birthdays are just days apart and so for about a week I get to give her a hard time about being older than I am. Tricia is the one person in my real life who isn't family that is family. We consider each other sisters, our kids are cousins, bloodlines be damned.

Trish lost a child 16 years ago to SIDS, and her youngest daughter has special needs due to cerebral palsy. Without going in to too much detail (because frankly, that's her story to tell and she does a much finer job than I) I will just say that Trish is one of those mothers, who, despite the very real difficulties in her own life, never fails to reach out to others, is always a compassionate ear, and a generous soul. Since her daughter's diagnosis with CP, her life has changed dramatically, and yet she offers her name, number and hand to every other parent she sees or hears of who has a child with special needs. I could not possibly ask for a more wonderful best friend.

When Nova died, her son was having some feeding/weight gain issues, and on one of her visits to his pediatrician, the doctor told her that he heard a heart murmur. Needless to say, with Nova's ordeal so fresh in her heart, she panicked and was extremely concerned. As you all know, feeding issues are common in heart babies, and she feared that her son had an undiagnosed CHD. She promptly arranged for her son to see a pediatric cardiologist for an echo. Thankfully, it was a false alarm, his heart is fine, and his feeding issues have resolved themselves since then.

Trish just had surgery a few weeks ago too, for a hernia, and has been off her feet pretty much ever since. She has spent those weeks knitting baby hats for the heart babies in CVRU at CMC. She's that kind of person. Want more proof? Yesterday, she was reading my blog(s) and saw Gretchen's yarn raffle for Team Nova, and proceeded to brain storm for herself how she could do something similar.

She had no blog (she does now though! YAY!) and she has no Paypal account, but knew I do, and so, she's come up with this:

When Ryan went in for his Echo, he was given this quilt. It's 43"x35" and as you can see in the pictures, it's pretty darn adorable. Hand made by women who donate these quilts to the hospitals for children who go in for heart procedures of any kind. The group is called the Charlotte Quilter's Guild and bears their label, as well as one that says Made by Loving Hands (?) Quilters. (That tag is wash-worn and I'm not sure "hands" is right.) She thought this quilt would be the perfect thing for the raffle idea because it is actually intended to be given to heart babies, and because she was blessed with good news about Ryan's heart.

(Click on the pictures for full sized view)

So I'm going to do this just like Gretchen is doing her yarn raffle. If you'd like to own this handmade quilt, and support Team Nova's efforts in the Heart Walk, here's what you do: Use the Paypal button and donate whatever amount you'd like. For every dollar you donate, your name goes into the pot one time. (ie: a $10 donation puts your name in 10 times.) I'll keep a running tally in the sidebar with the name and amount of each donor/donation. On September 1st, I'll put the names into a hat, and draw one out. The name I draw will then be announced and will receive this blanket via our wonderful postal service, and the total amount of the pot will be donated in Ryan's name to the American Heart Association Heart Walk.

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