For the second time, I’ll be riding in the Courage Classic for my personal superhero, Jason.
Jason was one of my very first patients at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and is a huge reason I love working In the Heart Institue at CHCO to this day. He’s taught me a lot about the heart since we met; from its anatomy, to the procedures/ surgeries/medications/therapies you can do to try and help the heart, to what it really means to use your heart: a lot of love, compassion and resilience.
Jason was born with only half a functioning heart, and just minutes after coming into this world he required surgical interventions to stay alive. He and his family have spent months at a time living in the hospital, and hours upon hours coming in for check ups. He has undergone several open-heart surgeries and countless procedures over his seven years of life. In 2018 he got a heart transplant, and despite some big bumps after surgery, he is now thriving, and finally feeling like a pretty normal kid. His battle isn’t over, but he lives every day to the absolute fullest.
Here’s the thing though. You would never know that this kid (or his family) have been through hell and back. He’s got a smile that lights up the room, a sense of humor to cheer up your darkest days and the ambition to conquer CHD so no one else has to go through what he’s been through. He speaks to crowds of adults sharing his story, advocating for people with CHD. You’ll never hear him complain about the cards he’s been dealt, because as he says “it’s the only life he’s ever known”.
He’s a fighter. He’s an inspiration. He’s a superhero. He’s CHD. And he’s why I’m riding in the Courage Classic.