Our family has had some major life changes in recent months. On May 8, Charlie and Kirsten graduated from UW-Madison, and three weeks later, Danielle graduated from Beaver Dam High School! Charlie has started a job in Verona, working with solar panel installation. Kirsten is now a special education teacher at Beaver Dam High School, where she is also coaching the JV2 volleyball team. Danielle is going to college at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, her classes started August 30. Amelia is the lone “full-time” kid at home now, she began her junior year at BDHS on September 1. David and Shelley are the boring ones I guess, both at the same jobs as usual! However, for a variety of reasons, both of them have had more going on at work than usual, so it doesn’t feel “boring”. Maybe it is due to the increased work status, maybe it is due to keeping up with the kids’ life-changing activities, but one way or another, the American Heart Walk snuck up on us this year – it is only two weeks away!
That’s right – this year’s American Heart Walk is Saturday, September 18! Due to the virtual nature of things last year, we did our walk in Beaver Dam. Even during the pandemic, our family and friends came through with your generosity, allowing us the privilege of turning in $4920.59 to the American Heart Association in honor of Danielle and Amelia! That was our highest single-year total, and it brought our 18-year total to $47,139.59!
As we reflect specifically on Danielle’s accomplishments in the last year, it is difficult NOT to become emotional! After all of the hours spent in the hospital throughout the years, anxiously sitting in waiting rooms during surgeries, and praying for her to be OK, one would think that the hour-long ride to Wisconsin Lutheran College would have been easy. But that hour was also an opportunity to ponder and celebrate all of the miracles that God has provided for Danielle throughout her life, leading up to her college move-in day! Danielle has conquered so many battles placed in her path, and we are excited to watch her take on the next battle with a new level of independence, as she is living in the college dorms on campus. We find the timing ironic, as Danielle had received her first college acceptance letter the week of last year’s Heart Walk. . . and here we are now, talking about her moving in and starting classes. Celebrating this achievement, as well as the stability in both Danielle’s and Amelia’s health, motivates us to participate in this year’s American Heart Walk, continuing to work with the UW-Health Congenital Heart Warriors Team.
Again, the Madison Heart Walk is Saturday, September 18, so we will need to act quickly! We have decided to do our walk in Beaver Dam again this year, so please let us know if you would like to participate! For our 19th year of walking, we have set a goal of raising $5000. We are aware that this could be a real challenge. However, based on Danielle's example, we believe in taking on challenges with the intent to succeed! If you plan to donate - please know that any amount is appreicated.
As always, we continue to believe - together we WILL make a difference!
David, Shelley, Charlie, Kirsten, Danielle, and Amelia