Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Heart of Gold

A dear friend of mine held her son as he slipped into the arms of Jesus just a few months ago. He was only 2 1/2 years old. This sweet boy born was born with a rare heart condition, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. He had made it through two tough surgeries with one more to go. He was a typical 2 year old, thriving at home surrounded by the love of his mom, dad, aunties and grandparents.

No parent should have to purchase a coffin that tiny.

This is family who did not let their son's illness get them down. In fact, before Braden was one year old, they started the Heart of Gold Charity. This charity provides scholarships for students entering the medical field. It also provides gift baskets for anxious families awaiting treatment at the Herma Heart Center in Milwaukee. They hold a yearly golf/dinner event to raise funds for this great cause. By starting the Heart of Gold Charity, Stephanie and Rich Petska have done more than raise money for a good cause, they help to raise the spirits of so many struggling with the complexities of having a critically ill child. Stephanie and Rich are the kind of people that just being around them, makes you feel less afraid.

Just a few days ago, Stephanie and Rich were blessed with a precious baby boy. This young man is symbol of hope for all of us still grieving for his brother. I cannot imagine how my friends can embrace this precious gift they have been given in the face of such grief, but I know they will. That is the kind of people they are.

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