When we were waiting for Lauren to arrive, we had many thoughts about how the first year with her would go. We would still go out with our friends and take lots of time to socialize, Lauren would only eat homemade food and we wouldn't have our lives revolve around her. Haha. We were idiots. It started like that, but then July 31st happened and our lives came to a screeching halt (don't know about that day? Read about it all here).

Our lives changed. Forever.

That day made Lauren's life more than we were expecting in many ways. It was more difficult than we could have ever imagined and now it is more full than we could ever have hoped.

I hate calling that day "the day Lauren went into the hospital" or "the day Lauren's heart stopped" even though that is what it is. But calling it that will always make it a date to be afraid of. It will always be something that is negative. And, while it was a terrible time, I believe that the day has changed us individually and as a family. Our priorities are different and our appreciation for life is so much richer.

When I was washing my face the other night it hit me. D.R.E.A.M. B.. Before Lauren was born, we had Plan A for what we expected from life. That was changed on the (D)ay (R)egular (E)nded (A)nd (M)iracles (B)egan. It was such a huge day that changing from Plan A to Plan B wasn't even enough, we had to go all the way to D.R.E.A.M. B.. Every day with Lauren is a miracle and miracles keep happening!

The list is so long and starts on July 31, 2012:

I ignored the doctors and we took Lauren to Children's Hospital just in time!
A gallop was heard in Lauren's heart for the first time
The doctors and nurses were able to resuscitate Lauren multiple times
Against all odds, Lauren didn't need a heart transplant
Lauren had ZERO complications while on ECMO (bypass)
Lauren came off ECMO days before they expected
We brought Lauren back into the hospital just in time for them to find a complication
They were able to resuscitate Lauren yet again
The surgeon was able to correct a second, very tricky surgical complication
Lauren's heart function has continued to improve - even more than the doctors had hoped for
Lauren's development has caught up to where it should be for the most part
So far we haven't seen any complications from her time without oxygen
There were people available to be with her 24 hours a day while she was in the hospital
Lauren's need for a pacemaker was caught on the monitor by the hospital just when her passing out was becoming life threatening
Her pacemaker has helped her to have a consistently functioning heart
Lauren's CT scan showed that the complication with her aorta is not what the Echo had shown
The medication is working really well for Lauren
Her heart is starting to pump like a heart again
And miracles are still happening!

Matt and I both feel that next week's Garage Sale was put onto our hearts by God and the outpouring of support with items, time and money has been amazing! Today, Lauren's story and the garage sale were on the front page of the Burnaby Now. People we don't even know have been donating items for sale. National Bank is totally behind the fundraising and is matching the first $500 that we raise through the sale.

All of these things are helping to make this time of the year something that we are really looking forward to, instead of a day that we fear.

Our dream now is being able to give back. We will never be able to give back what Children's Hospital gave to us when they saved the life of our little girl, but we want to recognize that we were given a gift and we can do things to help others. I'm not trying to toot our own horns, because we are not special, but it is a gift that we can hold this event! Thank you to everyone who has done anything to support this, from sharing word of the garage sale, to donating, to coming next week. We can't wait to take back July 31st when we go as a family with a big cheque for BC Children's Hospital and their new heart clinic. It's not Christmas but, for all my excitement, it might as well be!

Like the event on Facebook

Share the event on Facebook, by email, on the phone, or at the coffee shop in conversation.

Post the full flyer somewhere for people to see (download it here)

Let Matt, Elysha or I know if you can volunteer some time on Thursday or Friday (the 18th or 19th) to help us set everything up

Have a few hours on Saturday to help us run the event? Let us know! We need all the help we can get.

Of course, if you would like to donate money and receive a tax receipt (yay), you can donate here on this secure site set up by BC Children's Hospital and it will be added to the total for our event.

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