This past Saturday night, Zoe and I had the pleasure of attending a benefit for a fellow heart transplant recipient. Debbie Dalehite, who received her new heart last summer, graduated high school with my father. My dad’s class recently had their reunion, and while Debbie was not in attendance, she was running the show from her hospital bed. My dad learned about the benefit for Debbie’s medical expenses at the reunion and he thought Zoe and I would like to go and meet a fellow heart recipient. Zoe loves to meet people like her and we met not one, but 2 heart recipients that night.

We were introduced to a gentleman name Robby (I’m terrible with names so I hope I got that right) and his wife. Robby received his heart January 2009, one month after Zoe. He was in the hospital waiting at the same time as Zoe and he remembers following her recovery very closely. He told her, “I’ve known you since before you knew I knew you.” Zoe loved that. Robby and his wife also form a team for the LifeBanc Gift of Life Walk/Run. Perhaps some of my team will remember seeing this name, The Rowdy Hearts. The Rowdy Hearts raised $6,142.00 last year and had a team of 82 members.  They were familiar with our little team and suggested we combine our teams for 2014! Robby suggested Zoe’s Rowdy Hearts as the new team name and we love it! They have a company sponsor that does their shirts and even threw in hats last year. We’ll get together as the even gets closer to work on a new team design. We’re hoping to be the biggest team there in 2014!

While at this benefit, Zoe took a walk around to check out the silent auction items up for bid. She’s a huge Vera Bradley fan and they had a back pack that they were auctioning off. I bought 20 tickets and gave Zoe half which she promptly dumped all of into the Vera Bradley bag. Debbie’s family, who was running the benefit, found out about Zoe and her desperate desire to procure this bag and they gave it to her. Oh, yes. JUST GAVE HER THE BACKPACK! I don’t think you can image how elated this little girl was to get this bag. She just sat at the table and hugged it. I’d like to give another special thanks to Debbie and her wonderful family for making this fellow heart girl so happy.

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I’m sure everyone is wondering what the heck happened. Here I am posting a cry for help prior to the LifeBanc event & then BAM! Nothin! I do have an explanation, albeit not a great one, but it is an explanation just the same.

It really boils down to a collection of issues.

First, I hate sitting at my computer at home. My den is not as well lit as I’d like and the keyboard is in an awkward position making it a challenge to type anything. Not to mention that my mouse hates my desk and refuses to register half the time. Where is my mouse pad? Excellent question and as soon as I figure that out I’ll let you know.

Second, getting on my computer at home is not an easy task. There are two little girls in my house who spend hours at a time on it, stalking the people at Radio Disney.

Third, I decided last fall that I desperately needed a career change. Every time I got on my computer that time was spent updating my resume, scouring job listings and emailing people about possible jobs. I’m happy to announce that at the end of December I did manage to find another job. All my months of hard work ended up being completely pointless because I took a promotion at my current company.

Fourth, I didn’t realize it until recently but my browser was out of date. Every time I did finally get here to update, I’d get it all typed out but when I hit post, it disappeared!!!!! This, coupled with the first issue, caused me to become angry and need to walk away before causing my computer to have a nasty accident. About a month ago, my sister said she was going to do some needed site updates & I thought Eureka! this will fix the problem. Nope. Apparently all this trouble was due to an out of date browser. I’ve upgraded to Google Chrome & it’s been smooth sailing. Stupid technology.

So please forgive me. I’ll try to do much better from here on out. I promise. To sweeten the pot, I’m including some pictures in this update. Hopefully you’ll all be so blown away by the beautiful young woman Zoe is growing into that you’ll forgive the transgressions of her overworked and underpaid mother.

Gift of Life Walk/Run Results:

This year was not our largest team as I had hoped. Due to work schedules, prior engagements, injuries, etc… we lost 971004_617480201617085_315479063_nquite a few of our team members. According my calculations, we came in just $115 shy of our fundraising goal. We raised $1,185 for LifeBanc. Not too shabby for our little group. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Tom Breno and the Strongsville Optimists Club. They have given us our largest single donation for the past 3 years. We couldn’t do it without you fantastic ladies & gentlemen. Maybe some of you will consider joining the team in 2014 & participating in the event with us. Zoe’s Heart would love to have you! Just so everyone else knows, I plan to set the fundraising goal at $1,500 for 2014. You’ve got 8 months to do what you need to do to make sure you can join the team or make a donation. This will be our 5th year at the event so let’s make THIS our biggest year yet! WooHoo!

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Heartiversary  

This was a milestone heartiversary for us. Zoe has reached 5 years post-transplant. This means that she will be on an annual biopsy schedule instead of the bi-annual schedule she’s been at. This also means that she will have her regular check-ups with Dr. B. every 6 months as opposed to every 3. This is a huge thing for Zoe and to honor her last 5 years, I ran 5 miles for her that day. She asked if I plan to do that every year (1 mile for every year on every heartiversary). I do plan to make this a regular practice. What am I going to on her 20th heartiversary she asked me….. I laughed and told her that I’m going to try for 20 miles and hope I make it. We still haven’t heard from the donor family. Every year I think of their anniversary while we celebrate ours. I’m in the process of writing them another letter. I’m hoping that this is the year that they’re ready for us. I’d love to show them what their sacrifice has given the world. Thiers died and because of this mine lived. I truly believe that our children are meant to do great things together.

 

Biopsy/Dr visit updates

Zoe saw Dr. B. back in September for her check-up. Things looked good as always. Poor thing battles canker cores on a regular basis because of her immune system. She had especially nasty one (3 in one spot actually) during this visit so I.D. took a look at her and thankfully it’s not herpes virus related, just your average run of the mill canker sore. Had it been herpes we could have put her on maintanance   drugs to control outbreaks. I did some research though and changing to toothpaste without Sodium Laurel Sulfate has been shown to help. Finding toothpaste without SLS was nearly impossible, but I found one and that with some special mouthwash specifically to fight and control canker sores has helped immensely. Her next biopsy is scheduled for January 31st.

Misc. Updates

Zoe chopped all her hair off. It’s super short. She wanted to copy the style of a girl at dance, but honestly, it was ugly so she & I agreed on a style and it turned out cute. I do miss braiding her hair, but I don’t miss arguing about brushing it.

She’s got a birthday coming up. The big 1-2. She says she wants a quiet party at home. Ha! This kid doesn’t do anything nice and quiet. The bigger the better and she can’t get enough flash & bang. I suppose we’ll find a middle ground like we always do. All I know is that there’s a house full of screaming tween girls in my future. I can feel the headache already.

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The Gift of Life Walk/Run is just over a week away! So far it looks like I’m missing more than half my team! :0

Online registration ends Monday July 29th @ 5pm. I will be picking up the (registered members) team packets from LifeBanc on Wednesday. Since these contain race bibbs for the runners, I will do my very best to get them all delivered by Friday night.

If you plan to register online or at the event, please make sure you do it under Zoe’s Heart or the team will not receive credit. If you plan to register at the event & would like to have your registration filled out ahead of time, please let me know! I can print registration forms and deliver them when I’m out delivering packets.

Since I didn’t get much of a response (any actually) on new team shirts, we will be using our shirts from the past 2 years. If you are new to the team, your shirt is missing, or your shirt no longer fits, I have a favor to ask of you. I’d like for  you to please purchase a t-shirt in either light pink or light blue to wear to the event. If you’re running, please bring your shirt with you to wear for the team picture. You don’t need to run in it. I probably won’t unless it’s chilly that morning.

I think that’s all my announcements regarding the GOLWR. See you all at Blossom August 3rd!

https://www.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=1073457&lis=1&kntae1073457=0672EED2506A4F45B3D1C17BCBE6C87C&team=5547462&tlteam=0

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It’s that time of year again! LifeBanc’s annual Gift of Life Walk & Run. As always it will take place at Blossom Music Center. The event date is Saturday August, 3, 2013.

I’ve registered to run the 10k already and I’ve got the team page set up. Visit our page,  Zoe’s Heart, to join the team or make a donation to help us reach our fundraising goal of $1,300.00.

Two years ago, we got a sponsor to make team shirts for the event. Last year we threw together shirts for new team members. We are not affiliated with the sponsor anymore so some team members have mentioned a desire for new shirts not bearing the sponsors logo. Based on team growth the past few years, I’m anticipating 25 team members this year. T-shirts for 25 people + extras in case we grow larger than I anticipate will be an expensive venture and one that I just simply cannot afford to do. I’ve been thinking about this dilemma for the better part of 2 months now and I’ve come up with 2 possible solutions. Solution 1) Wear plain colored t-shirts, light pink for the girls and light blue for the guys since these are the current colors of Zoe’s site. Each team member will responsible for purchasing their own shirt or you can give me the money and I will pick it up for you. Solution 2) I will start pricing custom shirts. I’ve been told that I should be able to get this done for about $10 per shirt. If this is the case I will be asking team members to chip in for the cost of the shirt.

If you are a past team member and plan on joining again or plan to join the team new this year please do not hesitate to offer your input on the shirt dilemma. I’m open to suggestions and ideas. I know times are tight and I would never ask anyone to shell out money they don’t have to be a part of this team. I’m grateful to every member of the team and our donors for their continued support of this cause that means so much to me and Zoe. You can contact me via my Zoe’s Heart email or on facebook.

I’m hoping to make this team Zoe’s Hearts biggest GOLWR ever! THank you again everyone!

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Zoe had her 6 month biopsy this morning. Her pressures were good and her cardiac output remain unchanged from last biopsy which is good. Her results came back as a 1a and 0 again. She has maintained these near perfect results for every biopsy she has had post transplant. It’s a good sign. According to my calculations, she should have 1 more 6 month biopsy and then she will go in once a year. The 5-year mark is another transplant milestone.

You all may remember this past summer when Zoe and I spent the afternoon with photographers and the folks from Donate Life Ohio shooting pictures for their website, commercials and other educational uses. I got an email this afternoon from LifeBanc informing me that from February-March, throughout Ohio, Zoe will be featured on billboards for organ donation. Here’s what to look for:

 

 

 

 

Nikki & I were discussing (briefly) updating the site. Zoe’s drawings and her “potatoe people” have served us well. However, our girl is growing up and we think her site should reflect this. She’s at a very delicate point right now, caught directly between being a little girl who loves princesses and a young lady who has all the facts on her favorite boy band. So be prepared for things to change in the near future. Don’t be alarmed. It’ll still be the same site, just in new packaging.

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This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the LifeBanc GOLWR. We weren’t blessed with good weather like in years past, but team Zoe’s Heart showed up and walked & ran in the rain. We gained a few new team members this year and I’m proud of each and every one of them for making my cause their cause, rain or shine.

I set our fundraising goal at $1,000 this year and I’m just tickled to be able to say that we met that goal and then kept right on going! Our final total, by my calculations, is $1,205! Go Team! You guys are amazing.

Due to the rain, we didn’t get our own team photo but we had one taken at the event and I plan on buying one from ProEvent Photo. If you’d like to view it in the meantime, you can do so here: http://www.photoreflect.com/store/thumbpage.aspx?e=8638378 . Our team picture can be found under the “Teams” folder and we are numbers 73 & 74. Some of our team can be seen in”Candids” #41 & “Race Begining” #’s 10, 11 & 13.

I’d like to especially thank my fellow runners, Meg, Tom, Ian & Elizabeth <3, for coming out and running in the rain with me. It was cold & wet, but I can’t think of a better cause to run cold & wet for. Here are our finishing times and where our finishing photos can be found:

Tommy Jones  finished 5 out of 13 in his age category & 196 out of 434 overall with a time of 28:37. Tom’s picture can be found in “Racers Finishing 0925-0929″ #’s 126 & 127.

Meg Ashdown finished 5 out of 28 in her age category & 129 out of 434 overall with a time of 28:38. Meg’s picture can be found in “Racers Finishing 0925-0929″ #’s 127 & 128.

Christina Snider (*me*) finished 6 out of 39 in my age category & 152 out of 434 overall with a time of 29:08. My pictures can be found in “Racers Finishing 0930-0934″ #’s 16 & 168.

Elizabeth Jackson (best friend a girl could have) finished 13 out of 39 in her age category & 190 out of 434 overall with a time of 30:53. Elizabeth’s picture can be found in “Racers Finishing 0930-0934″ #215.

Ian Jones finished 26 out of 29 in his age category & 209 out of 434 overall with a time of 31:27. Ian’s picture can be found in “Racers Finishing 0930-0934″ # 86.

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It’s that time of year again. Team Zoe’s Heart is gearing up for LifeBanc walk/run. We’re hoping to make this year our biggest yet. I’ve set our fundraising goal at $1,000. Sounds like alot but it’s only $400 more than last years goal and we exceeded that by $100 so it shouldn’t be that difficult. With only 1 month to go, we really need to kick our fundraising efforts into high gear.

The event is Saturday August 11 at Blossom Music Center. Here is a link the team page: http://lifebanc.donorpages.com/2012GiftofLifeWalkRun/ZoesHeart/

Here (provided it works) is a copy of my fundraising letter:

Chrissy Snider & Zoe Tanner

Elyria, OH 44035

July 9, 2012

Dear Friends, Family, and Neighbors,

I have some exciting news to share with you! I am participating in the Lifebanc 2012 Gift of Life Walk & Run on Saturday, August 11, 2012 at Blossom Music Center. Please consider supporting me in this event by making a financial contribution or joining my team, Zoe’s Heart.

Together we will support Lifebanc and its mission to save lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.

As most of you know, my daughter received a heart transplant in 2008 at the age of 6. Zoe was 6 weeks old the first time she got sick. She came in contact with a virus that caused congestive heart failure due to the left side of her heart enlarging. With medications and frequent trips to the cardiologist, Zoe made an almost (the left side of her heart would always be slightly enlarged) complete recovery, or so we thought. Just before entering kindergarten in 2007, at the age of 5, she suffered congestive heart failure again. This time the medications weren’t helping and Zoe wasn’t recovering as well as before. In 2008 her doctor at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital sent us to see a friend of his, a pediatric transplant specialist, at the Cleveland Clinic. In just 2 meetings he determined that not only would Zoe need a transplant, that it would need to be done before Christmas if she was going to survive……..this was in September. She went from bad to worse and was admitted to the hospital November 1, 2008. On December 2, 2008 Zoe received her new heart. In February 2009 she finally came home. It’s been 3 ½ years since her transplant and Zoe has never been healthier. She dances, plays basketball, and runs youth charity races. Everyday we’re thankful for Zoe’s donor and his family who made the ultimate sacrifice so that my daughter could live. He’s our hero.

Know the Facts:

                • Nearly 115,000 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant in the U.S; more than 3,000 in Ohio alone

                • Every day in the U.S. an average of 18 people die waiting for an organ transplant

                • One organ donor can save up to 8 lives

                • One tissue donor can restore health for over 50 people

All funds raised in the 2012 Gift of Life Walk & Run support initiatives to educate the community about organ, eye and tissue donation and provide bereavement support to the families of organ, eye and tissue donors.

Along with thousands of other participants, we will be walking/running on August 11 as a symbol of hope, endurance and unconditional love. This journey will be an emotional, loving tribute in honor of those who gave, on behalf of those who received, and with hope for those who continue to wait for a life-saving transplant.

Please support me in this race to save lives. To donate online or to join my team, visit my fundraising web page at: http://lifebanc.donorpages.com/2012GiftofLifeWalkRun/ZoesHeart.

Your support is deeply appreciated!

All my best,

Chrissy Snider

Presented with the Support Of:

                                     Media Sponsors:                                                                   Partners:

Cleveland Clinic            Akron Children’s Hospital        WEWS News Ch. 5               Cleveland Magazine

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I finally have a day off with nothing more pressing to do than my morning run. I know an update is LONG overdue and I hope zoesheart followers will forgive me. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish all my lofty goals. I have much news to share so I’m going to break it up a little to make it easier to follow.


Biopsy/Check-up results:  Zoe had her bi-annual biopsy in January. Her results were a 1a & 0 as always so we’re pleased. Dr. Boyle said all her numbers looked good and was pleased that her cardiac output numbers were better than in the past. They’ve always been good, but this time they were better than good. She’s due for a check-up next month (April) and her next biopsy should be in July. We did have a brief weekend stay at the hotel Cleveland Clinic in January right before her biopsy. I blame an over-zealous ER doc. Zoe had been on antibiotics for a little bronchitis and that particular drug can be harsh on your system and gave Zoe some diarrhea which came with abdominal pain. She started complaining about the pain late on a Friday night so the local ER was our only option. After numerous (unnecessary, in my opinion) tests, the doc in charge decided to send us to the Clinic for “observation”. Apparently her fear was dehydration, but we didn’t know that at the time. There was poor communication all around and Dr. Boyle’s staff was not contacted prior to our little ambulance ride. The ER talked to the peds attending at the Clinic & not Zoe’s team like I suggested. Had Zoe’s team been notified I honestly don’t believe we would have gone anywhere but home. They know me and Zoe and they know I’d force liquid down her adorable little throat before I’d let her dehydrate because of some diarrhea. Once the right doctors got involved we got our walking papers and went home to salvage what was left of our weekend.


Flyathon: Flying Horse Farms, Zoe’s camp, is having a benefit to raise money for camp. On June 3rd. at Glacier Ridge Metro Park they will holding the first ever Flyathon. It’s an event for kids from ages 7-17. Zoe will be participating, naturally, and her age group will be doing a 1/4 mile run, followed by a 3 mile bike ride, and finishing up with a second 1/4 mile run. The fundraising goal for each participant is $350 and all the money goes to camp. She’s very excited and since mother nature has blessed up recently with such good weather, Zoe can begin her “training”. I’ll post more details here as soon as I have more information regarding sponsoring Zoe in the event.


LifeBanc & Channel 19 Action News: Channel 19 news in Cleveland has partnered with Lifebanc this year in their endeavor to raise awareness & register 20 million donors in 2012. On or around the 19th of every month Channel 19 will “go green” for organ donation. They shot a number of different promo spots for this purpose that are aired during the news hours. Lifebanc was nice enough to include Zoe in some of these promos. Go to http://www.woio.com/ and click on the Live to Give tab at the top of the page for more information or visit www.lifebanc.org. A number of different organ recipients were used in the promos so watch Channel 19 news to see these amazing stories of success. I don’t know when Zoe’s will used, so while we wait I’ve been given the link to view Zoe’s spots: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2Ftby3m-WiG_k&h=cAQHJVMBA & http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2F0MXGextHzgU&h=HAQEe5nrJ


Birthday: Zoe turned 10 last week and we celebrated by letting her have friends sleep over. Amazingly, they were better behaved than the 14 year old boys we had sleep over 2 weeks before for Gabe’s birthday. She got a cell phone (10 is the cell phone birthday) and yesterday we went and got her ears double pierced. She officially feels like a tween now she says.  We’re grateful to her donor family everyday, but birthdays are a day when I’m exceptionally grateful. 10 is a milestone and we wouldn’t be here without the amazing gift Zoe has been given. rock on little muffin and here’s to many more birthdays!





Zoe’s new appendage

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Today marks the 3rd anniversary of Zoe’s transplant. She’s healthy, she’s happy, and we really do know how fortunate we are. Zoe and I baked brownies yesterday, cut them into hearts and frosted them pink for school today. Generally we do cupcakes but I happened to have brownie mix instead so we went out on a limb this year. She promptly called me from her Dad’s phone after school today to tell me that our pink heart brownies were a hit. She gave 23 away to her teachers and classmates. She has one left over which she said she is giving to  her Dad.

As I sit and type this little note, I am charging her Heartiversary present, a Nook simple. It was originally planned as a Christmas gift, but I’ve decided it’s better suited as a Heartiversary gift instead. While she is away at her Dad’s this weekend I’ll get it all charged and loaded with some books for her to come home to Sunday. Her ipod touch was stolen a little over a month ago and I’m hoping the Nook helps make-up for the fact that some people just suck. Plain and simple.

You know who doesn’t suck though? (nice segway huh?) Organ donors! Everyday that I get to look at Zoe and marvel at the young women she’s becoming, I say a little thank you to the boy and his family who have made this all possible. Today above all other days I wish I could personally give thanks to our donor family and attempt to find the words to express my undying gratitude. I wish they could look at my Zoe and see a little of the boy they loved so much in the girl that I love.

Quick update on past events: This school semester has been especially gruelling for me which is why I am just now telling you all about the amazing opportunity we were given at the end of September. Apparently our little talk at the LifeBanc walk was such a hit that we were asked to do it again at Lifebanc’s 25th Anniversary Gala. The event took place at the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel. Zoe was asked to escort the 3 award winners to the stage and later in the evening we were asked to speak again. It was an unforgettable evening and we were truly honored to be a part of it.

Zoe and I with Bobby, our escort for the evening.

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Race times have been posted. Here’s how our team faired in the 5k race:

5k Men 13-18:

Ian Jones 24 out of 25 with a finishing time of 0:38:15

5k Men 45-49:

Tom Jones 6 out of 17 with a finishing time of 0:29:06

5k Women 30-34:

Meg Ashdown 7 out of 27 with a finishing time of 0:29:05

Christina Snider (Woo Hoo) 12 out of 27 with a finishing time of 0:31:18

5k Women 40-44:

Sharon Keischer 5 out of 23 with a finishing time of 0:30:15

Also, According to the listing on www.lifebanc.org Team Zoe’s Heart had another runner. I don’t know how accurate it is since my name and Sharon’s name weren’t listed as being associated with a team and we obviously were.

Also in the Womens 5k 30-34: Danielle D’Andrea 24 out of 27 with a finishing time of 0:41:28

Danielle – If you did indeed run for my daughter please contact me! I’d like to thank you.

Sharon, Ian, Med, and Tom – I’d say we represented pretty well for Team Zoe’s Heart. I can’t thank you enough for doing this and I hope we can all do it again together next year. I promise I’ll try to keep up a little better. ;)

If you want to see some photos taken during the event you can view them here http://www.proeventphoto.com/main/lifebanc-gift-of-life-walk-run/. I can’t post them since they are copyrighted. I can tell you where to find us at though. I was only able to sift through and find the runners finishing pictures. Under the runners category: Meg is photo 253 & 405, Tom is photo 254 & 407, Sharon is photo 258 & 428 , I’m photo 297 & 447,

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