Sunday, May 20, 2007

In honor of Nova

Please read all the way to the bottom. You could end up with some very nice yarn.

It's time to kick off the second annual fundraiser for the American Heart Association's Heart Walk, Team Nova. If you've been around here for a while, you've read about Nova before.

Sometime shortly after Lydia was born, I got a comment on here from Belinda to go check out Erin's blog and take her up on her offer. Erin had a new baby boy, Donovan (Nova), and had somehow happened across my pics of Lydia. She joked about betrothing them and, always happy to exert some control over my future grandchildren's genetics, I was game. One look at Nova and I was smitten. A beautiful boy from a big family. What more could I ask for?

But you see, Nova was born with a heart defect. Erin had already lost a newborn baby girl, Alexis, to a heart defect several years prior. They were told it was not genetic. They went on to have another baby girl. Then, during her next pregnancy they found out about Nova's heart. I can only imagine the fear that came with that news. But they knew ahead of time. They could prepare for repairing his heart. There was great hope that all would be well.

But after going through surgery, in the end it was an infection that took him. Sepsis shut down all of his organs except, ironically, his heart and he died in his mama's arms on April 6, 2006. He was just four months and four days old.

From the American Heart Association's website:

  • Each year approximately 35,000 babies are born with a heart defect.
  • About 8 in every 1000.
  • Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect.
  • Congenital heart defects are the number one cause of death from birth defects during the first year of life.
  • Nearly twice as many children die from congenital heart disease in the United Sates each year as die from all forms of childhood cancers combined.

  • As a mother, I find those numbers staggering. And Nova's sweet face is what I see each time I read them. Each of those 35,000 babies born with a heart defect each year is wonderful and amazing, cherished by their families. In honor of Nova and his mother, my friend, Erin, I am holding this fundraiser.

    Last year this fundraiser brought in $323. This year I am hoping to hit $500.* The Charlotte Heart Walk will take place on September 15. I will be holding drawings on the first of each month (starting May 1) until then -- five drawings in all. All of the prizes are not decided, yet, but I can tell you that Socks that Rock will be one of them. Other contenders, to be named at a later date, will be fabulous, as well. If anyone would like to contribute something for one of the drawings, I would love to hear from you.

    *When I set this goal, in all honesty, I was afraid to aim higher. I have seen how generous the online knitting community is, but I didn't want to set the goal so high that in the end we wouldn't meet it. As I write this, less than a month in, we are nearing the $500 mark, so I am setting the goal higher. But do I dare I say I'd like to raise $1000? I'm saying it. Please help spread the word!

    edited to add: I have already been contacted by Pippi of PippiKneeSocks, Michelle of The Sweet Sheep, Jacki at Cider Moon, Sheri at The Loopy Ewe and Sue of Harvest Moon Designs about donations of prizes. Thank you! Please see posts below for more specific information on the prizes.

    For each $5 donated, your name will go into the drawing one time. It will stay in the drawing until it is drawn or the final drawing, whichever comes first. So you get lots of bang for your buck. I'll keep an ongoing list of contributors in the sidebar. Every penny raised will be sent to the American Heart Association's Heart Walk Charlotte, Team Nova. Follow the Paypal link at the top of the sidebar to contribute.

    Please spread the word far and wide among your knitting and non-knitting friends. After all, if your non-knitting friend wins, they can gift it to you.

    Thanks for reading and thanks for helping.

    If you'd like to read more about Nova's story, please go to Erin's blog, Nova's Heart.

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    Blogger Angela Martínez said...

    I love you, Gretchen.

    4/04/2007 8:33 PM  
    Anonymous pippi said...

    There are few things in this world that tear me up more than sick babies.
    I'll gladly kick in some yarn for your drawing.


    4/05/2007 5:12 AM  
    Blogger Pearls Mother said...

    A big hug for a wonderful, caring woman.

    4/05/2007 5:14 AM  
    Blogger msubulldog said...

    My gosh, has it been a year already?

    4/05/2007 10:25 AM  
    Anonymous Debbie M. said...

    That was the month I was blessed with my very wonderful boy. I just donated some $. Not much, but what I could for now. If I win, though, I won't have a clue what to do with the yarn, so I'll need to call on you for services! ;)

    4/05/2007 1:41 PM  
    Anonymous debbie vogel said...

    I can't even begin to imagine the pain one feels when losing the most precious thing in the world...thanks for doing this. I tried using Eric's paypal account though I'm not sure if it went through. Please let me know if it worked.

    4/09/2007 1:48 PM  
    Blogger Gretchen said...

    Thank you all. Really. More than I can say.

    Debbie--it worked. I sent you an email.

    Lindy--if you read this, my email to you keeps bouncing back. Do you have a new address or is it just being wonky?

    4/09/2007 7:01 PM  
    Blogger LaVerna said...

    You rock girl!Thanks for the condolences on my blog.I sent a donation after reading your blog and read that little Nova and my Grandma died on the same day a year apart.Talk about a sign!I sent it just now and it will have the name Byron on it but its me.B is my hubby.Let me know if you need anything else!

    4/10/2007 8:53 PM  
    Blogger Erin said...

    Oh Gretchen! I'm in tears all over again! When you emailed me, I had no idea that ... this! Thank you all so very much and Gretchen... I love you, thank you. Thank you so much!

    4/15/2007 12:18 PM  
    Blogger Orris said...

    My heart goes with does my donation to your very worth cause.

    4/16/2007 5:28 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You are truly an angel. I've never forgotten your generosity last November when you pitched in to help buy a bouquet for my brother's memorial service and you didn't even know me.

    Kindness begets kindness. Now I'm in a position to help with your worthy cause. Godspeed.

    4/17/2007 5:46 PM  
    Anonymous Lufah said...

    Yay for already beating last year's total! Knitters, unite! :)

    4/18/2007 12:02 PM  
    Blogger lisabeth said...

    Just stumbled upon your blog... I wish I could have doanted more.

    4/26/2007 8:33 AM  
    Anonymous Regina said...

    I got here from Scout's blog, and I'm so glad i did. I just made a donation and am going to send a note to some friends asking them to do the same. You're a good soul.

    4/26/2007 9:51 AM  
    Blogger Carole Knits said...

    Scout sent me. I'm happy to help.

    4/26/2007 10:05 AM  
    Anonymous carole said...

    I just donated a small amount-- I'd do more, but I also just started a monthly donation to my local children's hospital.
    Thanks for sharing Baby Nova's story.

    4/26/2007 10:16 AM  
    Blogger sharon said...

    thanks for the opportunity to help out. even when they make me crazy, I praise God for my two gurlz and pray that all could enjoy this too!

    4/26/2007 7:44 PM  
    Blogger Kim said...

    I posted a link to your cause on April 26. I don't remember if I told you already.

    5/02/2007 2:30 PM  
    Blogger Gretchen said...

    Thank you all so much! Please keep helping to spread the word. I know we busted through the original goal, but I'd love to keep adding as we do the next four drawings!

    5/02/2007 2:52 PM  
    Blogger Belinda said...

    Do I have the best friends in the world? Yes. Yes, I do.

    5/04/2007 7:28 PM  
    Blogger Erin said...

    Holy God in heaven Gretchen... ALL of you! Thank you all so much! I can not believe how much you've all given to support this!

    I'm awed and humbled. Thank you thank you thank you!

    5/30/2007 3:08 PM  

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