Thanks so much for visiting my page. I’m excited to tell you about my 4-year-old daughter, Cuy, (pronounced Coo-ee, a nickname that means "guinea pig"). Cuy is the silliest, funniest, most rambunctious kid you could meet, with a sense of humor that seems far beyond her years. But Cuy wasn’t always bouncing off the walls. When she was just 4 months old, Cuy suffered a massive cardiac infarct as the result of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect, in which a plumbing problem called ALCAPA caused her heart muscle to be receiving de-oxygenated blood instead of the oxygen-rich blood the heart needs. As the heart tissue became deprived of oxygen and began to die, structures in her heart were sustaining damage in a cascading pattern, including her mitral valve. All of the stars must have aligned just perfectly, because Cuy’s heart trouble was detected almost immediately by an astute primary care physician, and we found ourselves at Children’s Hospital in Aurora that same day, preparing for emergency open-heart surgery. From the moment we walked through the doors at Children’s to the day we were discharged weeks later, and in every follow-up visit since, we have been overcome with awe and gratitude for the immense pool of talented doctors, nurses, techs, and support staff that turned a potentially catastrophic situation into one with a happy ending. Some of the damage to Cuy’s heart was irreversible, like the loss of the function of her mitral valve, and from the beginning they told us it was likely she would need further heart surgeries and intense medical management for her condition. However, Cuy didn’t get that message, and she has continued to grow and thrive and blow through milestones like a kid on a mission, and her latest echocardiogram studies show just a trace of the damage that was once so devastating.
My husband and I are both riding the Courage Classic as a way of expressing our gratitude to Children’s Hospital for saving Cuy’s life, and for every day since that they have supported her amazing progress. We recognize how lucky we are to have a healthy Cuy with us today, and so we want to help ensure that other kids with terrifying cardiac diagnoses have the same opportunity.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation in Cuy’s name to Children’s Hospital by sponsoring my ride in the 2020 Courage Classic. Here are a few quick facts about the ride:
- I am riding on a team called the Cardiac Climbers. All of the donations to members of the Cardiac Climbers go to the Children’s Heart Institute for equipment, support, and education.
- This will be my 2nd year riding the Courage Classis. 2020 marks the 16th year for the Cardiac Climbers, and the 31st for the Courage Classic.
- With 2,000 riders and 300 volunteers, this two-day event is the single largest gathering of people to support Children’s Hospital. This year’s goal is to raise $3.5 million.
- This year I am more than doubling my miles, challenging myself to the maximum rides on both days. I will be pushing myself to pedal a total of 162 miles over the two days, with almost 14,000 feet of climbing and elevatations exceeding 11,300 feet.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about Super Cuy, and for finding it in your heart to make a donation to Children’s Hospital to support her and other kids like her.