Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Grateful Heart

My heart is full of gratitude.

Mason's Celebration and Benefit Night was fabulous!

Over 200 people attended.

The auction items were amazing and plentiful.

The entertainment was very heart felt, spiritual, and angelic.

The love and support of community, friends, neighbors, and family was abundant.

The fundraising was very successful.

I couldn't have imagined a more perfect night.


Mason and I weren't there in person!

I guess we'll just have to do it again sometime so we can be there too!!!

(The Skype only worked partially. I was able to see and here most of the concert and program, but they weren't able to see me. Mason and I had gotten all ready to be up on the big screen and say hello to everyone......sending our love and gratitude to all in attendance. Bummer! Of all nights for the connection not to work. We Skype our family all the time and have never had a problem.)


I like this one: "Mason Strickland Event".
He is one famous boy at such a young age!

Tables were stacked w/ donated items for auction.
With beautiful homemade quilts, Hoven sunglasses,
Blue House Skis, season passes at Cowabunga Bay,
1 hour massage certificates, hair removal laser treatments,
IKON treadmill (worth 3,ooo- I'm jealous of this one!!!),
Ogio golf bag, signed sports memorbillia, homemade
heart suckers, gift basket from Rod Works, and much
more..... there were items to bid on in every price range!

There were cute pictures of Mason on display as well
as a video of him playing on the big screen through out the evening.
I will post the video on the blog as soon as I get a copy.

A very crowded room full of support and love for our Miracle Mason.

Angie Larsen from Channel 4 News and Good Things Utah was the MC
for the evening. Here she is introducing Mark (Daddy), and siblings
Kaitlin, Preston, Braiden and (as she said) "Super Nanny" Sammi.

Here are the performers of the evening. I must add that their music
was purely angelic and had many of us crying. And, ironically these
4 people have been truly God sent angels in my life (along with many
more of you out there reading this). They have always known the
right thing to do or say to give me the "pick up" and the
endurance when needed to carry on and not give up HOPE!

My dear friend Camille and her group Providence
sang , "You have Been Good".

Maddi Bishoff (who volunteered at least 80 hours the last
year and 1/2 to help me after school), played and sang
our theme song "Ordinary Miracle".

My sweet friend Corrine sang "What Faith Can Do".

Our hero and fellow heart transplant recipient Paul Cardall
played two very beautiful pieces," Gracies Theme" and
"My Heavenly Father Loves Me". He also gave a sweet and faith
inspiring message directly to little Mason. (More tears for me!!!)

I do have a very grateful heart and tear filled eyes this day for the many people; friends, family, and strangers who rallied together to help lighten the financial burden Mason's heart journey has placed on our family. I want everyone who has donated to Mason's Fund to know that every penny counts and WILL be used to pay for Mason's bills and medication.

I want to keep this post on a positive note, but just so you have a greater understanding of why our friends gave us this fundraiser:

When you have medical insurance there are always fine print details that you think you'll never need to read because they'll never pertain to you. We have learned a lot about those unread fine print details on long the way since Mason was born and diagnosed with his congenital heart disease. We knew going into this "transplant chapter" of our journey about $40,000 (part of that fine print) that our insurance would not cover for the harvesting of Mason's donor organ, but since the bills have started coming there is another $20,000 fine print item of the transplant that they won't cover either (exceeding pharmacy and laboratory costs the day of transplant). In fact, on Tuesday I got a statement in the mail from our insurance that showed us responsible for $107, 380 of the hospital bills just for the day of transplant!! Yikes!! That's outrageous! I have talked with our financial social worker here that said a lot of that we will fight, but not the $60,000 "fine print" items I talked about above.

We have applied and reapplied for disability medicare and SSI and continue to get denied. ( A family of seven gets denied in Utah if their monthly income is more than $1800!!) Our pharmacy coverage is pretty sad too, especially w/ Mason taking many expensive name brand medications. Just this first year we will spend $14,ooo -$21,oo0 out of pocket for his meds. It will get better after the first 12-18 months, because he will come off of or come down on several of his meds. And then, there is his lifetime max of $2.2 million that we have almost exceeded. I spoke with our case manager at our insurance company this week and we are just $300,000 shy of his max. But, they haven't even received any of his Bills since April 15th! When they do receive the rest we will most certainly go over $2.2 million. Then what? Honestly, I am not sure!! I've tried seeking the answer to that, but have yet to succeed.

I took a huge leap of faith bringing Mason here to Stanford for his transplant. Thus far, everything has fallen into place and has felt so RIGHT, I will not let myself (or our family) lose the faith now. I know it will work will!!! Mason is healthy with a beautiful new heart and that is what is important. We had an amazing turn out at Wednesday's fundraiser and what was earned has definitely lightened the load!!!! THANK YOU!

Many people have contacted Mark or I letting us know they were unable to make it, but would still like to donate. Donations are always welcomed!!! On the right bar of the blog at the top there is a donate button. Also I heard a few items didn't make it to the auction that were supposed to, so we could post them on the blog and let people bid on them through the comment section. Just leave me a comment or e-mail me ( if you'd like to do that.

Many many thanks to everyone who has donated to Mason's fund. And many thanks to those who continue to pray for our Miracle Mason. Miracles do happen if we have faith in the power of prayer! To that I testify with all my heart!


♥ Michele ♥ said...

It really was a wonderful night Summer! Wish you could have been there!!! The entertainment was fabulous and I loved all of the items for the silent auction, even if I only ended up with one of the things I bid on!!!

We are still praying for 'Baby Mason' every night!!

Emily@Little Forever Family said...

We did not get to go. You should have another one in a while and we will be there. I knew you guys were going to have to pay a lot, but I had no idea the extent and I actually cringed for you guys. If you do another auction like thing, I can make some things to donate. I am just so grateful you guys have such wonderful and supportive friends that help make life a little easier, even if it stilll does not add up to the expenses for your family. I am not likeing SSI right now, but I am grateful for our insurance company, and when anyone complains, I tell them it can be worse and I have seen worse after being at PCMC. Cannot wait for you guys to come home! We go for our fetal echo this week and I am praying this little boy stears us clear of PCMC after this appointment.
Heart hugs,

likeschocolate said...

Congratulations. I am so glad all went well.

Jennifer said...

Summer...please do post those items for us to bid on! That would be fun! :)

I am in shock over the amount that bill was that you got in the mail! Ridiculous!

Mindi D said...

I can't believe they deny him for disability medicare. That is just not right. I'm so sorry, i'll never understand insurace! Hang in there, things will work out, they always do somehow :)

Pamela Wiscombe said...

I agree there should be another event maybe in early september, and also please do post the items and let poeple who couldn't make it or are out of state bid on the items. Let m know if you do another event and I will try andget donations and make things for the event. One question though: my 4 year old daughter is making a blanky for Mason and she wants to know his favorite colors and things to play with. Thanks.