In September of 2015, our son Oliver was born with a very large and undetected (in utero) Lymphatic Malformation-a vascular anomaly that affects roughly 1 in 50,000 children. Fortunately, doctors were able to identify the issue and we were sent for an evaluation at Children's Hospital Los Angeles when he was just a week old. From there, we were teamed up with specialists in the Vascular Anomalies clinic who developed a plan for treatment.
In February 2016, Oliver underwent several rounds of sclerotherapy over the course of 3 days. During our 3 day stay at Children's Hospital, my husband and I were overcome with so many emotions- fear, anxiety, sadness, but also gratitude. We, of course, knew how lucky we were to be in the hands of some of the world's most renowned experts in Interventional Radiology... But the thing that resonated with me the most was the support we had OUTSIDE the hospital walls- the support we had at home to take care of our 8-year old son Jonah.
You see, while we only live 7 miles from the hospital, CHLA understandably has a strict policy on children visiting; no child under the age of 12 may visit a patient's room during flu season. Therefore, Jonah could not come see his precious baby Oliver, and with Oliver in back to back surgeries and attached to a drain, leaving the hospital wasn't an option for us. But we have a village. We have a team. We have 5, yes 5 grandparents, 4 siblings, 1 unbelievable nanny, and a slew of friends ready to jump at a moments notice to make sure Jonah's needs are met too.
With this in mind, each and every time we enter the halls of CHLA, (and there have and will be many visits), it occurs to me that so many families, so many mothers do not have that village. They do not have that support. And WE ARE LUCKY. We are so very lucky.
Though we have a long road ahead of us to heal our baby boy, as Mother's Day fast approaches, it's important for me to do what I can to make a difference for another CHLA family. I hope you'll join me.
· We are lucky to be moms
· We are lucky to have Children's Hospital Los Angeles
· We are lucky to be able to help other moms when their kids are sick
· Your gift of $25 will help a mom in need bring a trusted friend or loved one to her home so that she can come to CHLA to be with her sick child during surgery and recovery.
Jennifer Brandt Heilbron
Help support my fundraising efforts with a donation to Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Your tax-deductible gift will help fulfill the hospital's mission to create hope and build healthier futures for the families of Southern California and beyond. Thank you!