Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kaylie B, OLOL Hero 2010-9

My daughter is my hero because she is always happy despite having 3 open heart surgeries, a pacemaker placement and countless catherizations. She was hopitalized for 3 months one time and we almost lost her due to cardiac tapenade. Wow what a day that was or should I say summer...

We went to get a rountine cath and she wet into heart block so then she got a pacemaker. Then while recovering at my mom's house in MD (we live in NC), she started to feel bad and went from bad to worst quickly. We took her to the closest ER where she was quickly transported to Childrens' National Medical Center. In minutes of being in the cath lab, she coded for 25 minutes. It was touch and go for 3-4 days. Would be the same little girl when she woke up?

However when she did say her first word, it was on Fathers' Day and she said, "HI DAD!" and smiled. We knew at that moment she would be ok! After battling countless infections and a few times back to the cath lab for fluid, she was ready to go home. Just as she was before...energetic, positive and ready to play!!! Wow! Just BELIEVE is and was our motto. If she can handle this life and still smile, so can we!!!! I would like to say Kaylie Rose is and always will be my number 1 hero! To my daughter, I love you more than life and you are touched by many angels in your sweet life time! It's an honor to be blessed with you! All my love, MOM

Kaylie's Slogan: just BELIEVE

Submitted by: Leslie

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lora E, OLOL Hero 2010-8

My friend Lora is the most courageous individual I know. She suffers from breast cancer. A few years ago she beat it only to have cancer appear in another part of her body. She always, and I mean always, has a smile on her face. I'm crying like a baby as I write this with thankfulness that she is determined to beat this dreaded disease. She has 3 children, a wonderful husband and a great family to encourage her daily. She is always there to volunteer at an event. She works full time in her family business, and works hard to hold her family close and with love. I'm so proud of her and her wonderful family! She is my hero because I truly don't know what it takes to beat this and beat it with love, but she is doing it!

Lora's Slogan: Carpe Diem

Submitted by: Winter

Friday, March 12, 2010

Michele C, OLOL Hero 2010-7

Michele Champeau was the most determined woman I have ever known. When she was 8 months pregnant with her first child, she was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of cancer. Her son, Danny, was delivered by C-section 4 weeks early. She quickly went to surgery to remove the first of many tumors. Her diagnosis, 3 years max. After the initial shock, she and her husband decided that the diagnosis was NOT acceptable. She battled her cancer with a vengeance; never accepting the "general" diagnosis. Michele flew as far as Germany to pursue unapproved, unconventional treatments and was rewarded with 8 years with her son, husband and extended family. Without her determination and will to live, her son would have no memory of her. Everyone who knew her learned from her about love, devotion and determination. She will never be forgotten. I remember a shirt she wore with a cartoon of a stork with a frog in its mouth. The frog is choking the stork. It said "Never Give Up" and that was her motto.

Michele's slogan: Never Give Up

Submitted by: Dana C

Spencer C, OLOL Hero 2010-6

Spencer was born legally blind. Spencer is the most motivational person that you will ever meet. Even through this very unfortunate disability, he still makes every day count and does whatever he wants. The reason that Spencer is my hero is that he will never give up on something that he wants.

Spencer's slogan: Never quit and keep trying until it works

Submitted by Daniel D.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Paula F, OLOL Hero 2010-5

This woman is a teacher, but more than anything she is an inspiration. When I started high school, I had no idea what I wanted in life or where I was going. Then, I met my incredible, and slightly quirky, photography teacher and immediately felt at ease. She has taught me so much about the wonderful art of photography, being myself, and life in general. Her work as a photographer is beautiful; and her work with her students is life changing for some of us, and just fun for the rest. I can honestly say that I have never met another teacher like her who is so willing to give everything to her students, including knowledge, materials to succeed, and faith in themselves. And with graduation swiftly approaching, I've come to realize that I want to be a photographer; something I have known for a while now, and that is mostly thanks to the help and support I have gotten from this amazing person who is a true inspiration in my life as well as so many others.

Paula's Slogan: Teach Smile Create

Submitted by: Tori

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cache M, OLOL Hero 2010-4

Cache is an amazing brave child! I call him our life savor and hero. I can not begin to describe how much this child has and will endure in his life time. Cache was born at 37 weeks, 7 pounds 14 ounces, 19.5 inches long, and came out fighting. When I was 32 weeks along, his heart rate had dropped dangerously low. After many tests and a big scare, the doctors decided that he could be monitored for a few weeks until he was ready to come out. When I was 36 weeks, they decided to induce me. They knew something was wrong with his little heart, but they were not sure what.

Less then 12 hours after birth, he was being transferred to the pediatric hospital, and I was being discharged. When we arrived at the hospital, we were told that my son had a genetic heart condition called Long QT. In order for him to be on the medication to save his life, he needed a pacemaker. Three days after birth, my son was having open heart surgery. A few days later his heart began to reject his pacemaker and they had to go in again and drain the fluid building up around his heart. My superman made it though the first month of his life in the NICU and was soon able to come home. This is how his journey began.

Cache has two genetic dispositions of Long QT. Long QT1 and Jervell Lang-Nielsen syndrome. When Cache was 2.5 years old, he was diagnosed with severe to profound deafness. This is a side effect from the Jervell Lang-Nielsen syndrome. Although the ability to speak is a challenge for him, he does not let anything stop him from living his life. In July 2008, Cache had a deadly arrhythmia, but we were blessed by angels and his heart bounced back. In November 2008, another surgery was performed to place a defibrillator and have a sympathectomy performed. Cache did well and has never had another arrhythmia since.

Today, I am sitting in a hospital room because my son's defibrillator was removed due to an infection. We will be in the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) for 2-6 weeks trying to get rid of the infection. After the infection is gone, he will have his 5th heart surgery to place in a new defibrillator. When I saw this website, I knew this would be a great way to tell everyone what a brave and amazing child my son is. By him enduring so much in his short 4 years of life, he has saved his brother's, sister's, uncle's and cousin's lives, as they too all live with Long QT. Without his trials, we would have never known about this silent killer that takes so many young ones lives. It is now our mission to inform people about Long QT and try to save lives. We are truly blessed by Cache. He is our brave hero and life savor. He lives his life to the fullest and never lets all his trials get in his way. Anyone who has met him will tell you he is an inspiration and full of courage. He has made our world a better place.

Cache's slogan: Valiant Hearts with Rhythm

Submitted by: Melissa M

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Alexandra M, OLOL Hero 2010-3

Alex was born in 1991 with a Single Ventricle, Transposition of the Great Vessels and Pulmonary Stenosis. She has endured 10 cardiac surgeries and countless hospitlizations through the years. This life of medical intervention is the only life she has known and she has a great attitude about her life.

She has incredible faith and doesn't let her heart defects stop her from doing what she wants. She has gone on mission trips to Mexico and Honduras...and even lived in an orphange with her family in Honduras for 2 months. She has raised at least $100,000 for cardiac research over the years and has earned many awards for her efforts. But...the best thing about Alex is her smile and her joy of life. She doesn't know what the future holds....but she wants to make a difference in the world!

Alex's slogan: If not now.....when?

Submitted by: Charles M