Looking Back at AugustThe week of August 16th we delivered a total of 60 care packages to the pediatric cardiac units at four Children's hospitals on the east coast in honor and memory of Hayden's angel day.
THANK YOU to all of you who quickly chimed in with support and filled our Amazon wishlist within just two weeks- without you this would not have been possible!!
THANK YOU to our local girl scout troop and their incredible leader Melaine Curcio for compiling the bags- the girls did amazing- very efficient and in record time!!
And lastly, THANK YOU to our ladies who helped get the bags in the right hands to make sure we put some smiles on some cardiac kids in honor of sweet Hayden.
‘Healing of the Heart' RetreatHow can I even put into words what this weekend meant to those in attendance. As a host, or core team leader as we called ourselves, all I wanted was for these new 25 moms to leave this weekend with the same sense of belonging that we all did from the first retreat that took place just under a year ago. I wanted them to have the most intimate- raw- and REAL experience possible. I wanted them to open up- cry- laugh- dance- and cry again. I wanted them to connect- heal- feel safe- and leave with a sisterhood that would forever change the rest of their lives- the rest of their journey through grief.
The first night was more than emotional- hearing all about each one of these angels- when and how they were welcomed into this world, how they spent their way- too- short of lives, and then ultimately how they died- and watching what their deaths left behind. They left behind a beautiful mother who is shattered internally and externally- a courageous mother who is not only still standing, but somehow found a way to bring herself to a retreat where she knows no one- but trusted in us to handle and care for the most precious and intimate part of her life. A broken soul- whose life would be so much more full if only her baby were still alive- if only we could turn back time and change each and every path of these mothers lives. But I can’t. We can’t- they can’t. And so because of this the only thing we can do is walk through this path together- hand in hand- hearts intertwined. A sense of belonging- a sense of understanding- a no judgment zone where its ok to cry so hard you can be heard across the mountains- and then moments later dancing like a fool to a rap song from the 90’s.
This years retreat was so much more than I ever could have imagined it would be for these women. Watching their transformation over the 4 days we spent together is something I simply cannot put into words. Watching as their smiles changed from fake and weak, to real and strong. The joy and peace that is in my heart watching their connections grow stronger, their hearts healing- if even just a little bit- their weights being lifted- their acknowledgment that never again will they feel alone in this world. This weekend is more powerful that words could ever do justice. This weekend brought us back to life. It brought our children back to life.
Of all things I do in Hayden’s name, this is by far the most impactful. This retreat not only gives these mothers back a piece of themselves they were so desperately searching for, it gives that same person back to their surviving family. I am so honored to be able to create such a safe, tranquil space for these most deserving women whom I will forever be connected to and will always consider my sisters.
Special thanks to my CORE team who held my hand and walked alongside me through the last 8 months planning the perfect weekend for these mamas. And to the many heart organizations and families who sponsored a mother to attend- what a gift you have just given a grieving mother and her family. So many people donated items for welcome bags, snacks, desserts, and money to fund the memorial projects and other special workshops and activities we were able to hold. It is because of you that this weekend was able to happen- you allowed myself and the rest of the core team to live out our vision for these mothers and we are forever grateful for your support.
THANK YOU to everyone who donated to our 4th annual blood drive in honor of Hayden!! This year we collected 40 pints- INCREDIBLE!!
4th Annual Blood Drive!
Such a selfless, life-saving act- we can’t thank you enough!!
Keep a look out for our 5th annual next August!
Workout With a Cause!
Thank you to Tony Gomez and VIP Fitness in Lyndhurst for hosting ‘Workout with a Cause’ for Hayden’s Heart this month!!
How exciting to have 11 people working out this month for Hayden- raising $600- and helping us in our mission with ‘Fighting the Heart War with Love’.
Good luck to all of those working out for Hayden this month- so amazing!!
Hayden’s Heart NFL Survivor Pool
Tickets and Tables Available!!1st Inaugural ‘Heart of Gold Gala’- Friday September 30th in Wood-Ridge, NJ!
This event will honor pediatric cardiologist Dr Chitra Ravishankar from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and heart warrior Richie Landreville from Morristown, New Jersey.
If you would like to purchase an ad in our program or are interested in purchasing tickets, please visit our website for more information!