Friday, September 30, 2011

Simply Beautuful


The colors are bold.

The colors are happy.

The colors are beautiful.

I simply love the fall.

Nothing can compare.

Well, except......

Good News.

 Good News is simply just as beautiful.

Mason's had more than his share of

not so good news in his short little life.

Thus when we get good news, 

it is simply beautiful.

Mason's test results this time are SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL!

His biopsy came back a big bold beautiful ZERO!

And, his coronary arteries are healthy and happy!

I love good news.

It is simply beautiful.

NOTHING can compare!

Congratulations Miracle Mason!!

You are so brave.

You are so courageous.

You deserve this happy good news.

Miracle Mason,


Thank you for your love of life.

You are an amazing example to us all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mason's Monster Golf Tournament Is Here

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 my Annual Charity Golf Tournament for my business partner's 3 year old boy Mason Strickland. Mason's story can be found at
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 anything else please contact me at

Great gifts, great prizes and even a Greater Cause!!

   -Silent Auction
   -Gift Bags

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 forward this 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!!!

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:

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

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It’s that time of year again…….

             The third annual Mason Monster golf tournament is scheduled for Saturday October 8, 2011. This year it will be at Fox Hollow Golf Course in American Fork, Utah.  Have questions, want to register, or donate items for the raffle ??? Please contact Cecil Read at or 801-318-8181

             Thank you to Cecil and Melina for wanting to continue this annual fundraiser for Miracle Mason’s medical fund!!! Mason’s bills and medicine co pays continue to be very overwhelming. I still get large bills for Mason’s transplant in 2010 and probably will for the rest of my life. But, Mason is ALIVE and doing great….. So that’s what really matters!!! Every little bit put in Mason’s fund helps!!

It’s also that time of year……… that school starts. It’s hard to believe how fast the summer flew by, let alone how fast my kids are growing up. Each one of them is a unique piece of our family puzzle, and as they grow up they become even more unique and more important to our family as a whole! It’s sad and fun all at the same time to watch your children blossom before your eyes. All of them are such good helpers and have sacrificed a lot since Mason was born. I love them each so much!!!

Kaitlin and Ammon

Kaitlin on her 1st day of 7th grade at
Timberline middle school.

Ammon on his 1st day of school at 
Quail Run Charter School.

Preston and Braiden

Preston on his 1st day of 5th grade
at Westfield Elementary.

Braiden on his 1st day of 3rd grade
at Westfield Elementary.

Needless to say I miss them being home to play and help with Mason since they are back at school now! But, at the same time, it is nice to have a little peace and quiet for nap times, a little time to get things done around the house, and non-interrupted therapy time for Mason. When Mason wakes up from his nap everyday now the first thing he asks is “Are the kids home?” Oh how he loves them!!!

And it’s that time of year………. for us to take that summer vacation that we never took! Because of Mason being so sick in June and then still being on and off of oxygen in July we didn’t feel comfortable taking him on a trip. August was a much better month for him so last week Mark and I decided to take the family on a much needed, late summer vacation missing a few days of school and work. The transplant team was fine with us taking Mason on a trip, because on Thursday morning at clinic his echo looked great and he’s had no symptoms of rejection. (An added bonus: his tricuspid valve is back down to moderate leakage, from being severe during his pneumonia in June.)

Last Thursday afternoon we packed up the car and headed to Cali. The drive is always long but, the reward of the beach at the end makes it all worth it. This was Mason’s first trip to Southern California (thus I hadn’t been since I was pregnant with Mason either) and he absolutely loved the beach. It was just one giant sand box to him!

Before Mason was born we used to take a trip down at least once a year to my old tromping grounds in San Clemente, Capo Beach, and Dana Point. Mason’s health until now had just been too delicate for such an adventure!  It was like a breath of fresh air to finally play on the beach for a few days again.



Braiden and Mason

Mason in his Stanford Golf hat 
enjoying the "giant sand box".

Braiden, Mason, Ammon, and cousin Thompson
had a great time playing together.

Oh no!!! Cousin Thompson, Mason, and Ammon 
were burried in the sand by Braiden and Pretson.

 A lot of fun boogie boarding, surfing, skin boarding, and just playing in the waves was had by all! Several sandcastles were built and knocked down. Good visits with some special friends and family were enjoyed. Time was well spent under the California sun!!!

And then.......... to top off our fun get-a-way we were gifted money for tickets to experience the Magical Kingdom of Disneyland! What a wonderful way to end our vacation. We all had a blast! Mason didn’t want anything to do with the live characters though. (I was surprised he was scared of them, because they weren’t wearing scrubs!!) On the other hand Ammon was in heaven to meet and hug the characters!!!

Our family with Mickey

Mark and Ammon

It was an abnormally hot and humid
90 degree day at Disneyland!! We kept
pouring water over the boys' hair to
keep them cool and happy.

Mason was so exhausted from our days at the 
beach that he finally fell asleep in the stroller 
while our older kids continued to go on rides.

It was wonderful to spend time together as a family. I think all of us could have enjoyed a few more weeks at the beach, but reality called us home. The new date for Mason's biopsy and MRI is on September 29th. If you don't hear from me before then, just remember no news is good news! Also please call Cecil and register for Mason's golf tournament. Cecil does a great job planning it and everyone always has a great time.