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Life with a boy and his Hypoplastic Left heart Syndrome, now Heart transplant and partial Liver from Aspergillius. Also, a girl and her Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome, Neuro Endocrine Cell Hypoplasia, Lumbar Hemangioma, asymmetrical gluteal cleft, Pectus Carinatum and two Super Sisters and one yummy baby brother.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The KSL story done on Gator and Make A Wish Post

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13 pics»WEST JORDAN -- Alex Homer may have been born with only half a heart, but it is a heart "full of happy," according to the 4 year old.



Alex was born with hypoplastic left-heart syndrome, a rare congenital heart defect seen in only 1-4 of 10,000 live births. The dangerous condition led to four open-heart surgeries, one of which was a repeat because the first one had failed.



His life has been spent in the doctor's office, but his heart lies with the sights and sounds of a monster truck rally.



"We took him to his first monster truck rally when he was two and he just loved it," said Brynn Homer, Alex's mother. "It was so loud, but he loved the noise; he loved the smell. He loved every minute of it."



So much so that he named his pet frog "Monster Truck" and has dressed up in the past as a monster truck driver on Halloween. He will wear a monster truck T-shirt until it cannot be worn anymore; his mom said he says he is thankful for "monster trucks and family."



Such is Alex's love of monster trucks that when Brynn Homer got the phone call from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Utah offering Alex a visit from a real truck, she could not contain her excitement.



"I screamed into the phone," she said. "I knew this would mean the world to a little boy who has had a rough life. As his mommy you get so humbled by people and the things they are willing to do to make kids they don't even know happy. It's those happy memories I hope he remembers instead of being sick."



This type of joy and selflessness that people offer to our family, there are no words to describe how wonderful, how kind it is.

–Brynn Homer

The Make-A-Wish foundation had already granted Alex his true wish: he got to visit Disneyworld in August 2011. The monster truck visit was what the foundation calls a "wish enhancement": an opportunity to participate in an additional activity or event, which is often provided by members of the community.



"When a child is referred to us, we invite them back to these activities for five years after their wish is granted," said Christine McAttee, the foundation spokeswoman. "We keep track of kids' interests, and it's always a surprise when they go and say we have something extra. It's fun and exciting for us to be able to give that child something they're interested in."



"Families just want another day with their child," she continued. "They just want to put a smile on their kids faces, whether they wish for Disneyworld or a room full of Legos. They just want to forget about illness and be a kid for a day; that's what wishing does for these kids."

The wonderful KSL Story:
When the opportunity arose for a child to be visited by a monster truck and attend a rally, Alex arose as the perfect candidate.
His reaction did not disappoint. He "freaked out" when he heard of the visit, according to his mother. Not quite able to grasp how many days were left until the big visit, he repeatedly asked, "how many sleeps?"
After inviting his preschool class to attend, he often asked strangers on the street if they wanted to see the monster truck that would be visiting his house.
"Even though he has a broken heart, it's pretty full of love and excitement," Homer said.
That excitement spilled over when a monster truck called Bigfoot arrived; clapping, squealing and jumping up an down, he finally spilled into his seat in a rush of emotion, beyond words, to wait for the driver, Larry. Starstruck, he shook hands with Larry and rushed back to hug his mom, saying, "thank you."
Neighbors came outside to see what the ruckus was. After an impromptu block party with plenty of Mrs. Field's cookie cake and during which Alex got to sit in both Bigfoot and atop a police motorcycle, he lay on the floor, looking at pictures of himself with the truck.
"My heart is just so full of happy," he said.
As was the heart of Brynn Homer.
She said people do not realize that when Alex is struggling, it is this type of experience he will remember, instead of thinking about the pain he is in. He will remember it, and he will learn from it.

"People are so goodhearted and I think for him to see that take place, that goodheartedness, is just so amazing," Homer said. "This type of joy and selflessness that people offer to our family, there are no words to describe how wonderful, how kind it is."

"As a parent, you want to give your child everything," she continued. "You want to fix everything your kid might experience that would hurt them."

"This was one thing I just couldn't give him, and they gave it to him … they mean the world to me."

Email: sgrimes@ksl.com


The Awesome Post By Christine:
Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bigfoot Monster Truck Visits Wish Kid Alex
When Checkered Flag Productions called and said they wanted to take a monster truck to a wish kid's house I didn’t have to think twice, I knew the perfect kid for this enhancement. Alex is a 4-year-old boy who was born with a diagnosis of hypoplastic left heart syndrome but you would never guess this as you watch him run around! When Alex was referred to us his mother mentioned how much Alex loved cars and especially that he liked Monster Truck Shows; I made sure to add this info to our database. Alex has a cute little personality and showed up to our Halloween Trick or Treat dressed as a “monster truck driber,” as he says it. Anyone who knows him knows that he goes by "Gator" so his Halloween costume fit him perfectly!
When I called his mother to see if they would like a monster truck to come to their home she screamed with excitement; I knew I had contacted the right family. As the date got closer Alex continued to ask his mom how many more “sleeps” until the truck would arrive. This morning when Alex got up and went to his preschool class, he continued to ask how many hours till the truck would be there? As I drove as fast as I could to get to his house on time, thinking I was going to be late, I pulled up to a police car, 2 motorcycle policemen, two tow trucks with banged up cars on them and I thought I had come across an accident that was being cleaned up. As I looked ahead a little I saw BIGFOOT on a trailer up ahead of the police and two trucks and realized I had come upon the caravan on the way to see Alex.
As we arrived in his neighborhood the police lights and sirens came on to let Alex know we were almost there. Neighbors that were along the way came out of their homes wondering what in the world was happening in their small neighborhood!
Alex lives in a circle so the trucks all stopped on the road in front of the circle and the party began. Mrs. Fields from Southtowne Mall donated a large sheet cookie decorated with a monster truck on it. Alex’s garage had a big banner thanking Checkered Flag Productions and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the policemen handed out sticker badges to all the children and anyone and everyone got their picture taken with BIGFOOT.
Alex was in awe of the whole situation; he met BIGFOOT's driver Larry and they because buddies. He let Larry pick him right up and put him on the trailer, this little guy even fit in the wheel of the truck so he had his picture taken there and then jumped on one of the police motorcycles and honked the horn and ran the lights.The kids in the neighborhood wrote their names and drew pictures on the cars that BIGFOOT will smash tomorrow night at the Monster Truck Show at the Maverick Center. Alex and his family were also given tickets to attend this show and watch BIGFOOT crush the cars.
Alex likes to give "knuckles" and then "blow it up." He loved doing this with all the special people that helped make this day possible.

written by Christine McAtee, Director of Community Outreach

I don't know why the pictures didn't come with but I almost have the movie finished... Stay Tuned!

1 comment:

Sally said...

I love it! I remember how excited Ry was and it really came true and then some!