The Heart Walk is always one of the highlights of our year. We feel so incredibly blessed to have Max and that he lives a normal, healthy life, so we love helping raise money for the AHA and participating in the Heart Walk every year. We know that funds that have been raised in the past have directly affected our family and we are so thankful for that. Every year in October, we round up our friends and family and walk a 5k around Vandy's campus. There are usually around 13k people that show up and I feel like it's incredibly inspiring and instills a sense of hope in me for the future of these kids and other heart patients. This year we had an amazing team of supporters! Aunt Paula, Grandmama, and Dede and Pop all drove in town to help support Max and walk with us. A lot of our friends showed up to walk as well as some of Mom and Dad's friends. We've been through a lot this year, it really meant so much to us to have a team of people that we love show up to support Max and our family.
Below is the letter that Tyler sent out to all our friends and family that donated and helped support us this year...
Max, Amy and I want to thank you so much for supporting us this year in our fundraising efforts. Through the generocity of 117 people, Max's team was able to raise $11,656 while the Middle TN team at Regions Bank raised roughly $35,000.
This has been a big year for our family.
#1 We will be welcoming a baby boy to our family in January 2015. There is a higher chance that this baby will have the same heart condition as Max, but thanks to the technology and expertise at Vandy, we monitor baby #2's heart every week and everything is looking great. We're past the point where the heart condition typically shows up so we're all very optimistic that he'll be born without a heart defect.
#2 Max had his second surgery this year to replace his pacemaker and lead that he received at only 7 days old. Although, Amy and I would agree that the surgery was emotionally tolling on both of us (and obviously physically tolling on Max), surgery couldn't have gone better and Max was up and running around again within a week of surgery. We're hopeful this new pacemaker will last 7 to 10 years and we're excited to see what happens with pacemaker technology in the meantime...which is where your donations absolutely play a huge part!
I can't stress how thankful we truly are for your support. Thank you so much for continuing to generously support our family through your giving. We also want to thank you for you're notes of encouragement. They mean so much to us and we actually save each one in a file to show Max once he's old enough to get it. We want him to see (1) the generocity and support he's had over the years from folks that he knows and lots of folks that he doesn't know and (2) we want him to see the impact he has had on folks as well as our community simply by being a heart survivor and the importance of being grateful and giving back as we have been given so much.
Max, Amy and Tyler
Max and his Pal
Grandmama and Aunt Paula
Dede and Max
Dede and Gail
Our cut out from an AHA event last year
Lara and Jane Bug
The Moses family
The sweet Moses family all wore our shirts and came to visit before the walk for a few minutes. Laurel couldn't walk because she was due to deliver her baby in a few weeks, but we really appreciate them making the drive to Nashville just to help support us.
Max is ready to roll in his decorated wagon
Pam and Susan
Tyler and Jack
...finishing the race
I love this pic of all the kids; it's so sweet!
After the walk, the Alexander's, Grandmama, Aunt Paula, Gail, and Tyler, Max, and I all had lunch together at Chuy's. Max enjoyed some rainbow sherbet afterward.
These are the lego hearts that we made for Dr. Radbill and Dr. Mettler, Max's physicians. Max put them together and we sent them along with thank you cards as a small token of appreciation. They are so special to our family and will always have a special place in our hearts.