What is courage?
There are so many definitions of courage and examples of people living courageous lives. Sasha and her mom know all about courage. Sasha was two weeks old when she was diagnosed with congenital heart defects - Transposition of the Great Arteries, Ventricle Septal Defect and NonCompaction of the Ventricles. She suffered a stroke at age 2 during one the heart surgeries, but was able to make a full recovery. Sasha has had a total of 5 open heart surgeries.
Her fifth open heart surgery at age 10 was a heart transplant. She and her family had to move from Kansas to Colorado to wait for 5 months before receiving the gift of a new heart. For almost three years after transplant she was able to enjoy a healthy life because of the gift she was given.
In October of 2019 Sasha was diagnosed with a post transplant cancer, called Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma Burkitt's like,stage 3. Two weeks into her chemotherapy treatment, her bowel ruptured. A resection was done and chemotherapy was stopped to allow her to become strong enough to continue the fight. Today she is in remission after a complicated surgical recovery and completing her chemotherapy. Sasha is back at home in Kansas, and she is now 13 years old! She enjoys spending time with family and friends. She likes to read and has plans of writing a book. She continues to move forward because of her love for life. She has been blessed with many good years between surgeries and treatments.
And she continues to smile.
Please consider donating to my ride, in support of the Heart Institute at Children's Hospital Colorado. Funds raised go to support families like Sasha's, in addition to supporting research and innovation, and advanced education and training,
When I think of the true meaning of the Courage Classic, I think of Sasha.