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Friday, April 29, 2011

This Saturday, the 30th, is the big yard sale day. All proceeds will go towards our copay, travel expenses, and other accrued medical bills.

We are at 3078 Wesley Powell Drive, and we will begin at 7 a.m. Please come out and show your support. We have tons of stuff, so there should be something for everyone.

Thanks to all who helped set this up and for all the wonderful donations. This community is awesome!






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Friday, April 22, 2011

About Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Please read this. Especially if you are related to me.

As we have established, HCM is a disorder of the heart which causes a thickening of the muscle walls. That's how they find it; by measuring the thickness. It is quite a prevalent disease. One in five hundred have it. This number would undoubtedly be higher if it were possible to check everyone for this condition. It is a genetic disorder but will sometimes occur as a hiccup. We are not sure it the cause of Ashton's HCM is genetic or not.

Ashton has a rather advanced form of this disease. This is going to sound incredibly strange, but if my son has to have the disorder, I am glad it is as advanced as it is. He has shown symptoms all his life by way of heart murmurs and shortness of breath. Thank goodness! Let me explain a bit, here. The symptoms of HCM are virtually nonexistent, or they mirror symptoms of other disorders, such as asthma or panic attacks. People can have this disease and not even know it. Quite often, the first symptom is sudden death. Let me repeat: SUDDEN DEATH! To reiterate, the FIRST (1st) symptom is most often S-U-D-D-E-N D-E-A-T-H! Where do you go from there?

So now that we have established the very real possibility of sudden death, I would like to point out that this most often occurs during exertion. This is why many young athletes fall over dead for no apparent reason. If you are getting your children involved in sports, have them checked out. Each and every young athlete in Italy is checked for this before they can participate in sports. Their death rate from HCM has dropped by 90%. That is huge.

It was stated earlier that HCM may be genetically transferred. We have all been checked out, and Ashton is the only one in our household to have it. If you are related to either Shauna or Jerry, Please have your family checked; I implore you. It may save a life.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

GOT THE DATE!

We got a call from the Mayo two days ago. Ashton will meet with a cardiologist on Monday, June 6. Surgery will occur on the 7th of June, just eleven short days after his 7th birthday. How's that for a birthday present? Now, I'm off to battle the big bad insurance companies.

I've been threatening to write some stuff we have been holding back. The reason I did not state this stuff earlier is because of the article which ran in The Spectrum, which was wonderful (thank you Brian Passey). I wanted The Spectrum to have first shot at carrying the news. If you read the article, thank you.

Now, the article stated that we cannot appropriately thank everyone involved in helping improve my little boy's condition and quality of life; but we can try. If you have donated anything at all and are reading this. Thank you from the bottom of my very being. If you have offered kind wishes to our family, thank you once again. If you have read about my son and have wished us well, even in silence, thank you.

Now, Due West could have easily taken the money raised during the show, and they each could have walked out of there 800 dollars richer. They did not! They recognized there was a need, and it was within their power to help. They do this all over the country. I think this requires a great amount of empathy and caring. I am calling all together to unite! Tell everyone you know about Due West (www.duewest.com) and let's get these guys into the top country markets. Let's help them get the respect they deserve. Write to their label, Black River Music Group, and tell them how much you appreciate these boys, and what they do. We can raise them up.

Anyway, this is getting long. I am not a fan of long posts. I have more to add, but I think I want this to be a post of its own, because it is highly important. Consider it a P.S.A. about the condition that is afflicting my little boy. Watch for that in the next little while.

If you are still reading up to this point, thanks for sticking around.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spectrum Article

Here is a link for the story that ran in the Spectrum today: http://www.thespectrum.com/article/20110418/FAMILY/104180334/Local-boy-fights-potentially-fatal-condition

I have been waiting for this to run before I post many of the things that I want to say, but I felt that I wanted to give The Spectrum first run at it. I just feel that this was the more appropriate media. Now that this has run, I can post some of the things I have been holding back. There are a lot of people we need to thank, and much more that we need to say. However, it is late, I have to get up early, and the melatonin is lulling me into a droopy-eyed trance. Good night, all. And watch for more posts.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Upcoming Press

Look for a story about Ashton in Monday's edition of the Spectrum! I will post links when I get them. Ashton had quite a bit to say to the reporter; doubt they could fit it in one paper :)




Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mayo

Just received a call from the Mayo clinic . . . first one so far. We discussed possible dates. We are trying to schedule the consultation and the surgery within a day or two of each other so we don't have to make more than one trip. They will be contacting me tomorrow after speaking to the surgeons and cardiologists with definite dates. This just got a lot more real. I hate that; but, after this is all done, Ashton will feel much better.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No New News

Hey, all.

Just want to stop in and let you know that we are still here. So far this blog looks like simply a ploy to beg for donations. Let me assure you, my wife and I are both prideful to a fault, and having to ask for help is really not within our personalities. We are truly grateful for the support we have seen from the public. We thank you all. But. . . please don't feel obligated. Just some good vibes and kind wishes are both as well received. I do understand the power of giving; I am always dropping coins where I can. Please keep in mind that there are others who are in need in our community. As soon as we are done with this trial I can guarantee we will be paying this forward.


There are some cool things coming. I have been talking to some of the local media, and we are getting some good support there. I will keep you all posted on things as they pop up. You will be able to check in from time to time to see how our little guy is getting on. This will also be a place to see how he is doing during the surgery and recovery.

Thank you all, and thank you for visiting.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Donation fund

Some have been asking about ways to donate. We set up an account for him at Southwest Federal Credit Union. Ask about Ashton's Heart Fund. They should know what you are talking about.

We seriously did not expect this thing to reach this far. We were not expecting this amount of support.

Thanks all.

Introduction

Ashton is a six year old boy who loves his brothers and his puppy. Whenever he gets a treat he always makes sure there is enough to share. Though he was born with a kind heart, it is far from perfect; he calls it his ‘special heart’. He was born with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. This causes the heart cells to be out of alignment which causes a thickening of the muscle wall. This has lead to an obstruction, and his heart has to work harder to do its job. This is a condition that gets progressively worse. He now requires corrective surgery that is to be performed at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. All donations will go to travel expenses and medical bills which are accrued from this challenge.
We are having a Fundraising Yard Sale
April 30, 2011
7:00 a.m.-?
We need the stuff you aren’t using anymore!
Any and all donations are welcome
Any Questions call Jerry 680-0418 or Shauna 680-2626
Drop off your items by April 27th to 3078 Wesley Powell Drive
Thank you for your generous help, thoughts, and kind wishes.
Make sure to attend the yard sale too!