Support for heart moms


Please note that this post has nothing to do with a Thrifty deal, or coupons. But something much more important and personal to me. Those of you who know me personally know that my oldest son Matthew who is now seven was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) or in other words he is missing the whole left side of his heart. You ask me how he is alive? We have been blessed to be one of the lucky ones…..with all odds stacked against us, and 14 surgery’s later Matthew is a happy 7 year old boy. We have our daily challenges, but face them with faith and a smile on our face.

One of my readers asked me about vacation ideas, I emailed her back saying I would look into it. I told her we don’t leave town much due to my sons heart. Through emails, I learned that her son Jacob is also in heart failure and sees the same cardiologist as Matthew. She is part of a support group for Heart Family’s. It is new to the Boise area, but has been needed for a long time. My son Matthew had to be flown to Seattle and Phoenix for most of his medical care. They have a large support groups. I was alone, scared, and had the world on my shoulders. It was the kindness of other heart moms that helped me make it. I did a post here, explaining how doing this blog and helping struggling family’s is my way of trying to give back and say thank you to them.
I am thrilled to pass along the great news that Idaho now officially has a pediatric heart support group.
Courageous Hearts of Idaho

Courageous Hearts of Idaho is a support group for families affected by pediatric heart disease.
CHI was founded in 2008 by parents who recognized the need in our community for face to face support and sharing of resources and information. Courageous Hearts of Idaho is the only pediatric heart disease support group in Idaho.
A message from Jacob’s Momma:
Did you know that 9 out of every 1,000 babies born have some form of congenital heart defect or heart disease? My son Jacob is one of them. He was born with a condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy, which caused him to be in congestive heart failure. It caused his heart to become weakened and enlarged, and now it cannot pump blood efficiently. Jacob is now on over 10 medications a day and even though he tries his hardest to be a typical 3 year old boy, he isn’t thriving. He tires fast and just can’t keep up with the other kids. Even with all the wonderful scientific advancements that have helped him live this long, he still is reliant on a feeding tube and is still in heart failure. I hope that someday we will find a cure for heart disease, so that Jacob and all the kids like him can grow up and lead happy and healthy lives!
Sincerely, Jinjue Serre

Up Coming Special events
Participation in American Heart Association’s START Treasure Valley Heart Walk (this is actually coming up in May!!)
Courageous Hearts of Idaho family picnic to be held annually
Contacts
Julie Du Bois RN St Lukes RMC Pediatric Cardiovascular Services Coordinator 208-381-1978 email duboisj@slrmc.org
Parent Contacts:
Andrew and Jinjue Serre
Becky Gross
De and Melanie Enrico
Websites
Meeting Information
Who: Moms, Dads, extended family, caregivers, nurses…Anyone that loves some with a Courageous Heart!
When: The 3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:30 PM
Where: St Lukes RMC, downtown Boise. South Tower, Andersen Center 5th floor
How: Just show up! The group is a positive, informal and comfortable place to meet others with similar experiences and share information

The blessings of being A Thrifty Mom

When we were first married, my husband Matt and I both worked. Yet with 2 pay checks we still barely made just enough to pay our bills. We had a weekly grocery budget of $15, I tried to be creative and make what little we had stretch. Yes we ate a lot of potatoes, rice, and Mac and Cheese. I worked up till the day before I had my son. Still not knowing if I should quit my job, and loose that 2nd income. When our son was born, we found out he was missing half of his heart (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome). Our whole world changed with in a single moment. My decision was easy, I would quit my job and care for my fragile son, and nothing else mattered. For three years, he was in and out of hospitals all over the Western States. We were then blessed, because Matt got a better paying job. When we did stay in the hospital for months at a time, total strangers would bring care baskets full of food and supplies. It was the kindness of others that helped us make ends meet. It is a humbling thing to have others give you help. Since then I have always looked for a way to give back, a way to pay it forward to others.
A few years ago I decided to try and learn a new way to shop. Never knowing what an impact it would have, coupons have blessed my family to be able to have all we need and more. This last week I have been able to get over $60 of items for free ( see photo above). My family already has plenty of these items, so why did I buy them? I will be dropping these off at a local Ronald McDonald House, a place that helped us and gave us a place to sleep when Matthew was in the hospital. I can’t tell you how good it feels to give back. This past week I was also able to get several items for free at Albertsons, I did not need them for for myself, but I went ahead and picked them up and gave them to a family who is struggling. Being A Thrifty Mom is truly a blessing!