Baby Braden Petska

Monday, August 13, 2007

Charity Kick-off

Hello everyone,
Sorry for the delay in the update, but this family was a bit pooped out from the weekend. What a day...what a weekend! First off, our company started on Thursday when Auntie Marci arrived followed by Cousin Terri, Jay and little Ivan. On Friday, the rest of our company arrived, and we had close to 20 people sleeping at the house....tent in the backyard, camper in the driveway, and miscellaneous bodies strewn all over the house.....we wouldn't have had it any other way!

On Saturday, it finally hit me when I was walking Braden over to the golf course that this was our day....finally serve a wonderful purpose. It was quite an emotional day as we witnessed a tremendous amount of support from our family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers. God's presence was definitely evident throughout the entire day. We ended up with 144 golfers (sold out) along with an additional 120 dinner guests. WOW! We can't thank those who attended enough for coming to support this beautiful cause. It was defnitely one of the proudest moments of our lives, and we were able to share it with so many people who care about Heart of Gold's mission. We hope to have pictures up soon of the event.

Braden's birthday is this hard to believe our baby boy will be reaching this milestone. I may just have to post something on Friday to honor this blessing. I will close this post with my speech from Saturday. I think it's appropriate to repeat as it acts as a reminder of our mission and our gratitude to the amount of support we received this past year.

Love Steph, Rich, and Braden

As most of you know, Braden was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a very rare and serious heart defect where the left ventricle of his heart did not develop. When told the news two days after he was born, it was our worst fears come true. In that one moment, those few seconds it took to explain the underdevelopment of his heart, the pause button was pressed on our lives and for the next few weeks we would be living in a whole new world….. a world full of hope, promise, and healing a special little heart.

Hope is defined as: A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment. On the day of Braden’s first open-heart surgery, Rich and I arrived at the hospital quite early to say our good-byes and to kiss his sweet little chest before he was taken to surgery. The Chaplin joined us just shortly after we arrived to lead us in prayer. Just as the special prayer was about to begin, we could see the sun rising and shining right onto his precious little face. It was a peaceful moment – a moment we knew God was telling us he would carefully watch over Braden and keep him protected. Hope was gained and our spirits were renewed with the strength we needed to get through each passing day.

Promise is defined as: an indication of future excellence or achievement. From the moment we found out about Braden’s heart, we accepted that this was the path God chose for Braden and ourselves. I knew that if my Grandma Pat was alive she would tell me, “Tuffy, God chose you and Rich to be the parents of this precious little boy because he knew you would love him, care for him, and fight for him.” We know God has special plans for Braden and we embrace his future, aware there are risks but living each day with hope and optimism by our side.

Healing Hearts:
Braden’s unique heart has lead us on an amazing journey. We have met so many wonderful people who have truly enriched our lives. From the medical staff at Children’s Hospital to all of the wonderful heart families whose paths we have crossed. We have seen the true spirit of friendship, the generous gift of giving, and the tremendous power of prayer. Our determination, optimism, and strength is renewed each day by Braden’s presence. With the help of this charity, our mission is to pass on our strength and courage to other families who walk in our shoes. As we continue our journey in fulfilling our mission, we will remember those who came here today, we will remember those who have lent us a helping hand…as our charity would not be possible without you. So thank you. Thank you for helping us make it possible to instill hope and promise in healing the hearts of these special families.


Anonymous Aunt Pam & Ted said...

Wow what a great day Saturday was! We cannot wait until next year! Anyone who even had the energy to look at the blog yesterday and find it wasn't posted either didn't attend this outing or has amazing stamina, because we know that we are still recovering from a ton of fun and an equal amount of emotion. Steph and Rich if any person alive can draw an ounce of strength from the 2 of you they are blessed. You guys are truely amazing. The event that you two and the H.O.G. board pulled off was first class. We also would like to express what a great job Twin Lakes Country Club did, every employee we came in contact with was great (ok so maybe next year you need 2 or 3 beer carts, obviously Rich did not warn them or they didn't take him seriously...)
Great Job guys and I couldn't be more proud to be your Aunt! Love you!!!!

7:16 PM  
Blogger Carla said...

Awww, Steph, I so wish I could have been there. We were thinking about you all day and I'm so thrilled to hear of the great turnout. You so nailed Gramma Pat's words, those were the exact words she said to me when Mitchell was born. She is right, God chooses special people to care for his special babies. The Petska family is most definately a match made in heaven. Love and hugs to you all.....Cousin Carla

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have such a lump in my throat after reading this entry. God bless the three of you...and Happy First Birthday to Baby B!

Love...Jenny in MA

3:12 PM  

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