Monday, January 30, 2012

January 29th, 2012
Well, it did rain on the day of the Walk-a-thon, but it was a huge success anyway. About 500 people turned out in spite of the weather and walked and ran, bought raffle tickets, ate pizza and danced in the mud to raise funds for this very special group of children! A reporter from a local TV station came and we had a short piece on the evening news. The Thorps were able to lift up the memory of their young son and explain what this event means to them and we were able to see our family on TV. The total money raised through corporate sponsors and private donations exceeded $150.000 which will be divided among the beneficiaries.
“Amazing Amelia’s team” was one of the top fundraisers and we may be getting very close to the total needed to cover the cost of her surgery. What a miracle! When we started fundraising less than six months ago this was just a dream, and we fully expected to have to make many payments after the surgery to pay of the hospital cost. Now it looks like there may be enough to cover the cost of the surgery as well as the trip expenses without a huge debt hanging over the Heston Family. God is truly answering all our prayers and we are so very thankful to each one of you for supporting Amelia’s Hope for Hearing!
So tomorrow the big adventure begins and DJ, Kristina and Amelia leave for Italy! The trip will take more than 20 hours and involve three flights, two train rides and a taxi, so it will be quite an ordeal. There are suitcases and backpacks all over the Heston home and the many lists are getting checked off in hopes that nothing important will be left behind or remain undone. DJ has undergone another round of IV treatments to keep him healthy and Amelia has had a few more doctor’s visits to prepare for the trip. Siena is ready to move in with us and divide her time with us and Grandma Diane. Grandma will be the one to get up a the crack of dawn tomorrow to take the travelers to the airport.
We continue to be concerned over the issue of Amelia’s follow-up care, but the staff at the House Ear Institute are working hard to get permission to treat her in spite of the new device. We feel confident that the Lord will work this out and amaze us all.
January 19th, 2012
We are counting down to the departure to Italy (11 days!) and to one last fundraising event before the trip (3 days!), so our lives are filled with anticipation. On the 13th Amelia had minor surgery to remove fluid from her ears and to have tubes inserted in both ears. Only the right one had fluid, but they put a small tube into the left also, just to keep it clear during all the upcoming travel. Everything went well with the anesthetic and the surgery, the only difficult part was to keep Amelia distracted enough all morning so she would not sign “eat” too often. Awww! The surgery was not until noon, so it was a very long morning for DJ, who took her to the hospital this time.
Kristina and DJ are busy preparing for the trip and there are lists everywhere. Since Siena will be staying here with us (and also with DJ’s mom) we have to have medical release forms in place and switch the school contact information to our address and phone. Martin installed a web-cam for us, so she will be able to see her parents while she talks to them on-line during their long absence.
The winter weather in Verona is very cold and they all have to have warm clothes. The long trip will require lots of toys to keep Amelia busy and DJ has to bring all his books for the on-line courses he plans to take while they are away. And how much luggage is too much to handle for all those long flights and train rides? And do they need a car seat as well as a stroller? And trying to manage the financial transactions to pay the doctor/ hospital and the apartment owners while the Euro is bouncing up and down.
O course, we are all trying not to worry about the implant surgery and everything that will follow, because God has been so faithful and it’s nothing short of miraculous that we have gotten this far. Thanks to all your prayers and generous contributions every detail is somehow working out.
HOWEVER !!! I do want to make you aware of the latest challenge to our peace of mind. The House Ear Institute informed us that Dr.Coletti is now implanting a new ABI device which he considers the very best one available. (He is not flexible on this!) This device is not approved by the FDA and most likely the clinic will not be allowed to do the adjustments (mapping) as we had hoped. This is a huge concern and one we do not take lightly, however at this late stage in the planning, we do not feel that we can abort the whole plan and the trip will be going forward as planned. So, once again we need you to help us pray for a solution. And with all that’s happened so far we continue to expect miracles.
And speaking of miracles, rain is being forecast for Saturday’s big “Mitchell Thorp Walk-a-Thon” fundraising event. Would you believe that with all our sunshine in Southern California this could be the weekend to get rain? So many people have worked so hard for months to make this event a success and rain would definitely be a problem. So, would you help us to pray that it will stay dry until noon to allow this much anticipated event to take place?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mitchell Thorp Foundation 5K Walk/Run on January 21st

For those of you who don't already know, we are going to be walking in the Mitchell Thorp Foundation 3rd Annual 5K Walk/Run to raise money for Amelia's auditory brainstem implant. We are happy to be a part of this non-profit organization that helps local families with children who have a variety of medical difficulties. We are leaving for Italy on January 30th and are still in need of donations. We would love to have lots of you join our Amazing Amelia group and walk with us if you are able. Thanks to all of you who have already donated to Amelia's fund. You are the reason that we are able to go to Italy for her ABI so soon :). Thanks for being on this journey with us! Please see the link below for more information and feel free to share this with your family and friends.