So I attended today’s Stroll for Strong Kids at the U of R River Campus, with more than 2,000 walkers taking part. One such group was Jennifer Johnson’s Amazing Grace team, named after their daughter who managed to survive after being diagnosed with CDH (congenital diaphragmatic hernia). Her heart and lungs had been pushed further to one side of her body.
The odds Grace and her parents received in terms of surviving CDH? It wasn’t 50/50. How about less thanhalfof that…try 23.5 percent? To say the odds weren’t looking too promising would be an understatement.
But Jennifer and her husband Vincent didn’t give up on their little girl, and even with several surgeries & breathing with the use of oxygen, Grace is still fighting now. I spoke with her grandfather today about how Grace has been able to make it as far as she has, and he talked about asking her doctors how she had survived during her first 24 hours. The doctors’ response? “I don’t know.”
When Jennifer first mentioned the Strong for Stroll campaign for Golisano Children’s Hospital, Grace had been hailed as a “Miracle Kid.” She then captained a team to raise money, and even though I had been gone from 13 for several months, I wasn’t going to let that stop me from adding to the cause. With a $25 donation, it added to the more than $10,000 Jennifer and her team raised for the children’s hospital.
Children like Grace deserve all the care and help in the world, and they get it from the great doctors at Golisano. And they certainly get it from the people who love them most - their families.
It was more than just another walk with the Strong Stroll at the U of R - it was walking for a wonderful cause, for someone whose respect I have is incredible. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.