“Who am I? You sure you want to know? The story of my life is not for the faint of heart.” — Peter Parker, Spider-Man
Welcome to the first Congenital Heart Defect Blog Carnival! When the Carnival was announced, “The Gifts and Challenges of a Congenital Heart Defect” was chosen as the subject. As the entries began to arrive, it became apparent the the Challenges of a Congenital Heart Defect and the unexpected Gifts that occur because of them give all of our entries a certain… heroic quality about them. Average people overcoming the odds. The little guy who wins in the end. Follow along, and you’ll see what I mean. But don’t forget, if you enjoy a writer’s work, be sure to comment in the comment section under their post. The Author might not know of your appreciation if you post it over here! Of course, I’ll forward the comments on the essays hosted on Funky Heart.
Challenge: Something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest, or requires a special effort.
Jen Wright continues the theme as she writes not only of the heroism of her child, but as her community comes together in her darkest hour… and the greater good that may come of it.
Andrea Himmelberger and her family face challenge after challenge…and only later does she recognize the gifts that come from those who share a similar challenge.
Baby Hearts Press Author, Editor, and Heart Mom Anna Jaworski writes about her son overcoming HLHS to become a teenage robotics wiz. I think Alex has an ulterior motive – this Cardiac Kid plans to build himself a replacement heart!
Gift: A special ability or capacity; natural endowment; talent. Challenges we understand, but gifts? Who in their right mind could think living with a Heart Defect could be considered a gift?
In this September 2008 interview, Adult Congenital Heart Association President Amy Verstappen recounts the personal challenge that was issued to her after heart surgery… and the gifts that she has given (and received) through service to other CHD Survivors. I consider Amy to be one of my CHD gifts; along with being a talented organizer and administrator, she’s a personal friend.
Awesome Mom recognizes the challenge that her son faces but also found an unexpected gift, for which she is grateful. Awesome Mom truly is awesome – she blogs during Sesame Street!
Paul Cardall has learned that life is a gift, and he takes a moment to thank the people who are special to him. When you’re fighting for your life you want someone to cover your back, and Paul’s team isn’t going to let him down. Give this link time to load; the photographer captured the Cardall family perfectly!
Heroes, one and all. Special effort? Special ability? Could it be that gifts and challenges are really just two sides of the same coin? Is one that closely related to the other? Your humble host closes with another line from the movie Spider-Man, turning the Green Goblin’s malicious threat on its head as he reminds us that “We are who we choose to be!“