Monday, August 10, 2009

When I Grow Up...


Every child loves to imagine what they will be when they grow up. Limited only by their imaginations, they could dress up, play and pretend for hours on end and daydream of the day they will be a world renowned doctor, an Olympian, a chef, a famous rock star,a veterinarian, etc. I know I certainly did, and both my children are no exception...

For many kids, however, life unfortunately is more about hospital visits, medications, keeping track of calories and weight gain, and just trying to get through today than it is about imagining the beauty of the future.

Luckily for us, there is a local group dedicated to giving heart children a sense of normalcy. The group is called 'Angels For Hearts' and they sure do live up to their name. This past weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to an event they were holding at UCD. The event, "When I Grow Up..." was aimed at heart children under the age of 18(I think...) and was meant to help them to remember that, "Dreams are only limited by imaginations." There was a firetruck, ambulance and race car parked out front, there were firefighters, ambulance/EMT's, police officers, a nurse and a doctor, a ballerina, teacher, chef, etc available for the kids to talk to and lots of hands on crafts to entertain. The Firefighters outside gave great tours of the firetruck and answered any and all of my son's many, many questions, even took him up to the top of the truck! There was food catered by Panda Express and yummy ice cream afterwards. Great little goodie bags stocked full of great stuff went out to each heart child, Ava was most fond of the bubbles(no surprise there!

We originally thought we were going to be out of town and miss this event, but due to Ava calling the shots(and a 24hr tummy bug) we were able to attend. SO glad we did! Both of my children were treated so well, they had a blast and it was the talk of the weekend! Every person from this group, whether it was someone who started the group, someone there just to help volunteer, etc, were very nice, called each child by their names and offered up plenty of positive praise. A very generous and thoughtful group of people who genuinely care about the children they are helping. I love it. :)

Some photos from the day...





























2 comments:

Kimberly said...

Ava and Ava's Mommy~
Hi! I just wanted to drop you a note in regards to your blog about your experience at the 'When I Grow Up...' event. My name is Kim Kaufman and I am one of the founder's of Angels for Hearts the Non Profit that orgainzed the party for you, we had some big help from the Children's Miracle Network at UC Davis Children's Hospital to make the day extra special. I can't tell you how much it makes my heart smile that you has such a fun day and took the time to have your mommy help you to write about the party. I founded Angels for Hearts with my parents Patti and Curt 2 years ago. I am also a heart patient I may be an adult but in my parents eyes I will always be their child. I founded Angels for Hearts and came up with the idea after spending a lot of time in the hospital myself. I know that it is really hard to be in and out of the hospital especially when you are a kid like yourself. I know that when you are in the hospital there is no normal what so ever and that is hard. I founded Angels for Hearts in an attempt to help try to bring some sense of normalcy back to girls and boys your age (ages 0-16)while you are in the hospital. We came up with the idea of the party 'When I Grow Up...' as a way to show that all kids dream about what they want to be when they grow up. Reading your story about how much fun you (and your brother) had at the party brought happy tears to my eyes, I knew when I read what your mommy wrote that Angels for Hearts did what we set out to do to give the heart kids a day to just be a kid. Thank you so much for coming to the party, I remember meeting you when you checked in becasue I loved your cool pink glasses. I was hoping if it is ok with your mommy that she could send me some pictures of you from that day we are in the process of posting the pictures from the party on our website and we would love to put your picture if it is ok with your mommy on our website page. Please feel free to check out our website www.angelsforhearts.org. If your mommy says it is ok she can email them to me (actually to my brother Danny) at: danny@angelsforhearts.org

We just happend to stumble across this blog when my mom was checking our website and found out the nice blog you wrote, thank you coming to the party and can't wait to see you this Christmas and we already have plans for 'When I Grow Up...' 2010 so see you there.

Much love and hugs,
Kimberly Kaufman. Founder
Angels for Hearts

Ava's Mommy said...

Hi, Kimberly!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read the blog and respond, I will email you/your brother shortly. :)