I’m wearing a long red fleece jacket on this cold day. If you haven’t donned your red duds yet, take time to do that when you’ve read this post because today is WEAR RED DAY!
February is Heart Month. Many of you know the story of our Jacob, in whose memory Jacob’s Fund exists. Jacob was born with multiple heart defects and underwent several open heart and other surgeries. It was after his last surgery that he contracted MRSA in the hospital and died six weeks later.
What you may not know is that severe heart defects can result in developmental delays and impairments. When Jacob began hippotherapy at McKenna Farms in 2006 at age two, he hadn’t yet begun walking. Once he began hippotherapy (therapy using the horse as a tool), he walked, and ran, and his speech and vocabulary expanded immensely. I’ll never forget when he asked, after seeing me wear one, “Grandma, can I have a pedometer?” Uh, yes! I clipped it to his diaper.
Since we founded Jacob’s Fund, we’ve been able to help kids with all kinds of impairments through hippotherapy and therapeutic riding. Some of these delightful children have heart defects.
Among them is Jonah, who has some of the same heart defects that Jacob had. Part of his heart is missing on the left side. Jonah has a mass of gorgeous blond hair, big eyes and a mischievous grin that tells you right away that this boy has a great sense of humor. We met him before he was old enough for preschool, but now he’s in school and doing well. Jonah’s family makes every effort to help him and seek out the necessary services that he needs. Life with multiple heart defects means many hospital and doctor visits all along the way.
As I think about our wonderful Jacob, several other children we’ve learned about come to mind: Timothy, Luka, Charlie. All of them are dealing with multiple heart defects. They, like us, fervently hope and pray for help and healing for their children.
While we can’t magically make that happen, we can do something. Contribute to the American Heart Association. Donate to Jacob’s Fund.
And WEAR RED today! Now’s the time to show your colors.