Mason's fundraiser tournament is just a week and a half away!! Here is the e-mail that was sent out by the founder of our annual event:
"Friends and Family, I am putting on myAnnual Charity Golf Tournamentfor my business partner's 3 year old boy Mason Strickland. Mason's story can be found atwww.miraclemason.blogspot.com Please join me and 144 other golfers to tackle one of the hardest golf courses you have ever played. This is for a great cause and those who have played in our event the last two years say it is by far the best tournament of the year.If you can not come but would like to donate prizes, gift baskets or anythingelse please contact me at email@example.com Great gifts, great prizes and even a Greater Cause!! -Silent Auction -Gift Bags -Prizes -Contests It sells out every year so please sign up right away, Don't Miss Out!! Please bring a 4 person team on October 8th to the Fox Hollow Golf Course in American Fork, UT. Please forwardthis message to any golfers that you may think would like this challenge.
Thank you, Cecil Read"
If you can join in on the fun, please do!!! If you can't, then donate something to the raffle and auction!!! Your support is greatly appreciated it. Mason's bills continue to be overwhelming (ie: Just yesterday I opened a bill that is from Stanford for Mason's 1 year post transplant biopsy he had in March, that our insurance is trying to refuse responsibility of, and it is only a whopping $63,480!! yikes!!) but someday we hope we can donate the earnings from Mason's annual golf tournament to IHH(Intermountain Healing Hearts) our local congenital heart disease foundation. Because, Mason's bills WILL be more manageable someday!!
Thank you to Cecil and all those who make this a great and memorable event!!!
TOMORROW.......... is a big day for Mason. He will be having a heart cath/ biopsy at Primary Children's to check for rejection. It will be almost 18 months post transplant and his 13th biopsy. Of course we are praying very strongly for a big beautiful bold ZERO so that Mason can make his final taper off of steroids. Poor little guy has been on steroids for 18 months! That's not the usual protocol for transplant patients. Most are off the yucky steroids within 6-10 months post transplant, but of course Mason chose a more difficult path!
Mason will also be having a cardiac stress MRI to look at his coronary arteries. Normally coronary arteries can be looked at and assessed during a heart cath, but in March down at Stanford the cath dr discovered that both of Mason's femoral arteries are completely closed off. Thus it is impossible to look at his coronary arteries that way anymore! Accelerated coronary artery disease is frequently seen in transplant patients so that's why it is very important to follow Mason's coronary artery function. It has been at least 15 months since Mason's CA's were assessed so I am nervous.
I am probably more nervous than I would have been, but just two days ago our sweet little heart buddy Kaidence was diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease! Kaidence has been our heart transplant hero and example since Mason was a newborn. She received her heart 2 days before Christmas in 2007 a couple weeks after Mason had his first open heart surgery. Her mom and I became good friends as we spent our days together in the hospital for 7 weeks. Kaidence was the first heart transplant patient I followed and I witnessed the miracles of new life that it brought to her. Kaidence and her mom Shauntelle were also at Primary's 2 years ago the day I was told Mason would not be able to get a heart transplant (little did the dr's know that Mason was not giving up!!!) and his months left to live were numbered. Oh how I was grateful to have her shoulder to cry on!!! Now today I cry in sadness for the news of sweet Kaidence. Please remember her in your prayers as well. (To read more about our dear friends visit: 4myKaidence.blogspot.com)
Thank you to all of you who continue to support and pray for our Miracle Mason. I will post with results on Mason's biopsy and MRI as soon as I have them.
“Promise me you’ll always remember that you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ~Christopher Robin
There has been a trust fund set up on behalf of Mason Andrew Strickland. You can donate by calling or visiting any Wellsfargo branch.https://www.wellsfargo.com/locator/OR by clicking on the "Donate" button below.
Mason Andrew Strickland was born on November 30, 2007! He came 3 weeks early at the American Fork Hospital, weighing in at 5 lbs 8 oz . He is the baby brother to 3 brothers and 1 sister. At 3 days old he became very sick at home. After a trip by LifeFlight to Primary Children's Hospital that afternoon he was diagnosed with a variation of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Mason will need at least 3 open heart surgeries before he is 3 years old. He had his first surgery when he was 10 days old and spent 7 weeks in the hospital. He had his 2nd surgery at 6 months old and only spent 1 1/2 weeks in the hospital. Mason also has issues with arythmias which has caused him some scary moments, a 2nd trip by Life Flight, and more time back at Primary's PICU. We feel blessed for everyday we have him here with us. We have created this blog to follow our journey through life with our little broken hearted baby, Miracle Mason (with a few tid bits about the rest of the family too). It's now October 3, 2009 and Mason's story needs be updated. In April 2009 Mason was diagnosed with lowered heart function (or heart failure). From April through now he has been on medications and oxygen to help improve his heart function. In August, with no improvement seen in his echos we began the process to list him for a heart transplant. He is unable to get the 3rd surgery (or Fontan) as planned because of his heart failure. On Sept, 3, 2009 he had his pre-transplant Heart Cath (the last thing needed to list him for a new heart). The results that day have left us heart broken. He was diagnosed with severe pulmonary vein stenosis and is unable to receive a heart transplant. He will now need a heart-lung transplant, if he is a viable candidate. Since Primary's does not have a heart-lung program we are seeking opinions from other hospitals (outside of Utah) at this time. Even though we are extremely saddened with his most recent diagnosis, we continue to find joy in our journey with our special child of God, our sweet Mason.
(In November 2009 we learned of another possible option for Mason. CHOP and Stanford have both talked to us about doing just a heart transplant to his own one healthy lung. At this time we are exploring that option and the possibility of it being another true miracle for "Miracle Mason".)
February 16, 2010 Mason and I (Mom) flew to Palo Alto, California to do a few last tests and get Mason listed for a new heart(heart only!! not heart-lung!!) at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. We are excited and nervous to start this new chapter of our journey.
March 3, 2010 Mason was officially listed on the Heart Transplant waiting list as a 1B status. Mason and I will wait here in Palo Alto until he receives the miraculous gift of a new heart. We miss our family at home very much!
April 4, 2010 (Easter morning) Mason received his new heart. It was the best Easter gift our family could ever be given. We are eternally grateful to his donor family who during their time of loss selflessly gave our Mason a second chance at life.
July 16, 2010 Mason and Mom flew home to Utah to reunite with their family. Mason is still very immunosuppressed in order to avoid rejection of his new heart, but definitely happy to be home playing w/ his brothers and sister!!
January 30, 2012 Mason continues to do well with his new heart. He finally came off of steroids after 18 months in October 2011! Mason is walking with the help of a walker in hopes to walk alone soon. He conitues to have a few episodes of a pneumonia each year, probably due to only having one working lung. He also has a few new issues we are facing .....sleep apnea and severe scoliosis. But, over all he continues to face life with a fight and a big smile!
April 11, 2012 Mason had back surgery because his scoliosis had worsened to a curve of 75% (normal is 0-15%). He had two rods placed in his back, better known as the VEPTR (Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib). It was a rough recovery, but after about 8 weeks he was feeling much better. Every 6 months he will go in for a minor surgery to extend the rods to keep up with his growth.
May 25, 2012 We finally got into a sleep doctor and she diagnosed Mason with sleep hypoxia, rather than actual apnea. Because of narrow airways his sats dip frequently through out the night, but he doesn't completely stop breathing (good news!). So he was perscribed to be on one liter of oxygen at night while asleep.
July 20, 2012 Mason finally walks all on his own!!
Not a day goes by that we don't think about Mason's donor family who has given our little miracle boy the gift of LIFE! Thank you where ever you are!
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