What it means to me to wake up each day and know that I am living is truly incredible. I was born with a congenital heart defect called levo-Transposition of the greater arteries. If I would've been born just a few years earlier, it is doubtful I would've survived. It is because of the doctors and nursed at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota that I am here to share my story of a life that I don’t take for granted.
The team of doctors and nurses at The Children’s Heart Clinic (CHC) and the cardiovascular center will always hold a special place for my family and me. Laurie, a nurse at CHC, was always there with a smile on her face making sure every patient was treated like a star. From comforting me while getting an x-ray to answering my questions when I call last minute because I’m going sky diving, she always took the time to help. And I will never forget Dr. Amarjit Singh and his clown stethoscope. He was just a guy that I had to go see once a year when I was a smalll child. But for my parents, he was a beacon of hope. He answered every question my mother asked and always took the time to make sure my parents felt comfortable, no matter how long it took.
Over the years I have realize how blessed I am to have this life and that is why I choose to contribute and advocate on behalf of Children’s. In 2009, I started the Challenge for Children’s, a scenario-based paintball game, with the purpose of giving hope to those just beginning their Children’s journey.
Challenge for Children’s is a test; it is a paintball battle demanding your attention and focus as you and your fellow teammates go on an all-day adventure that will leave you tired, dirty and with a satisfaction like no other. It welcomes all levels of players: boy or girl, fast or slow, small or big, there is a role for everyone and everyone contributes. At the end of the adventure, just like any Children’s patient or family experiences, you will learn things about yourself that you didn’t know before because you took the challenge and you chose to fight. The 5th annual Challenge for Children’s is hosted by MN Pro Paintball on Sunday, May 19. All proceeds will benefit the cardiac program at Children’s. In its short history, the event has raised over $70,000 for Children’s. Find out more at www.challengeforchildrens.com.