10 years ago I would have told you that my fundraising goal was to end the disease that took my son. Today, we know that isn’t going to happen and we have a better understanding of where to focus our attention and efforts.
As I have leaned into the heartbreak of losing Ollie and come to terms with the disease that took him from us, I’ve seen the reactive, not proactive, nature of cardiac care that leaves heart families to endure and navigate their mounting unmet needs alone. It’s time we shift away from how we’ve always done things. We are moving into a landscape that will transform the future of pediatric heart care. Every heart child and family will be wrapped in love to eliminate the traumas endured by living with a chronic illness. We will do so by uniting heart families and clinicians through community; providing access without barriers; extending lifelong support to heart families; connecting the technical and human side of care; and through education, empowerment and advocacy.
We loved Ollie as hard as we could for 13 months and while he may be gone, that immense love is not. Ollie’s legacy is about being courageous and innovative to lead change, which takes a village—from our talented OHHF team, to our passionate Board of Directors, to our generous donors, to the courageous heart community, and to the dedicated clinicians who serve this community. Our love for one little boy and all of your love for us has created a community that has changed the lives of tens of thousands of individuals. All that we’ve accomplished, we accomplished together! And together we are going to transform the future of pediatric heart care.