Friday, January 29, 2010

CHD Forum Will Fill Your Heart and Mind

We are so excited about the upcoming Regional Forum on CHD!

In the past, we have had shorter versions of our Forum, on a weeknight. This year, we have a whole day to spend with heart families, and with the heart specialists who care for our kids. We'll learn more about how we to advocate for our children, keep our relationships and families strong, effectively manage stress in our lives. Our kids will meet others just like them, and learn more about their hearts and how to take care of them.

And at the end of the day, we'll celebrate the hearts and lives of our children during the Happy Hearts Reunion for children and adults who are patients of the UF Congenital Heart Center. We'll have a chance once again to thank the team who took such loving care of our children.

It's an amazing day, connecting with other families. At the end of the day, you'll leave feeling ... wonderfully exhausted and with a full heart.

If you are already registered for the Regional Forum on Congenital Heart Disease, we look forward to seeing you! If you would like to register, visit the Broken Hearts of the Big Bend Web site or e-mail us.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

BHBB Hosts Regional Forum on CHD

Broken Hearts of the Big Bend will host a Regional Forum on Congenital Heart Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010, in the heart of downtown Tallahassee. The Forum is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Download the Registration Form.

We believe any heart family from anywhere will benefit from this exceptional event. We extend a special invitation to heart families in Tallahassee, Pensacola, Jacksonville and Gainesville. Our Regional Forum features pediatric heart experts from the University of Florida Congenital Heart Center in Gainesville. Pediatric heart experts from Pensacola and Jacksonville have been invited as well.

Breakfast, welcome and introductions start at 8:30 and the day concludes with a Happy Hearts Reunion from 4 to 6 p.m., for adult and pediatric surgical and heart transplant patients from the University of Florida Congenital Heart Center.

Our opening session is a panel discussion and question-and-answer session with Dr. Mark Bleiweis, director of and pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon at the University of Florida Congenital Heart Center, and Dr. F. Jay Fricker, chief of pediatric cardiology at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville. Other sessions include: advocating for your child in school, at the doctor’s office and at the hospital; balancing marriage, life and work; and using social media as a source of information and support.Sessions will end with a closing panel discussion and Q&A with our pediatric heart experts and adult CHD survivors.

While our parents enjoy interaction and educational sessions, the kids will have a day of fun, visiting the state Capitols, the Museum of Florida History, and lots of free play on Kleman Plaza.

Get a glimpse of the 2010 Regional Forum on CHD Tentative Schedule. Register today for the Regional Forum on Congenital Heart Disease. Download the Registration Form.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Broken Hearts Share Event with The Red Elephant

Broken Hearts of the Big Bend held a Share Event today with The Red Elephant restaurant. That means we told everyone we knew and asked them to tell everyone they knew to eat at The Red Elephant today and tell them they were there for the Share Event. We aren't sure yet how many people participated, but we'd estimate at least a couple of hundred! Yeah! A couple of hundred!

We're excited to see how much money we might have raised today for Broken Hearts. If you're wondering our money goes, it goes straight back to our families ... Parent Survival Kits (toiletries, tissues, candy, snacks, notepad and pen, magazines, puzzle books, small heart gifts); Children's Goody Bags (age-appropriate toys, crayons and books, games). We visit families in the PICU, whether they have short or long stays there. We have a Web site, and pages on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Delicious and ... this blog.

Our families are the most amazing parents and children ever. Not just because of the experiences they've had, but because they are all so willing to share their experiences with other parents. That helps so much. I think it not only helps the family "in need," it helps the parent who shares the story.

Just in the past few months, we have kids who have had heart transplants travel to see kids who have had recent transplants. We have an adult transplant survivor who is a wonderful role model and inspiration to our kids and to us parents. He's amazing. Our moms talk to each other and share their support, and always, it seems, when there's a mom who needs a listening ear, there's another mom who's been in that very spot, very willing to hear and help.

So often, our families say thank you to Kim and to me for what we do. And they don't even realize that all we do is set up a dinner -- it's our families who do what they do that make Broken Hearts of the Big Bend the incredible loving and supportive group that it is. Being around all of our families is like getting the biggest, warmest hug.

you, Broken Hearts of the Big Bend families! It's all of you who are awesome, who are Angels on Earth!

Friday, February 27, 2009

BHBB Breaks into Social Media

Broken Hearts of the Big Bend is now on Blogger, Twitter and Facebook. You can also use these resources to connect with other heart families from Tallahassee, from the Big Bend and from around the world.