Dear CCF Families and Friends,
My daughters Madison and Sydney turn 7 and 4 this year. At their young age, they've already suffered strokes, cardiac arrests and lengthy hospitalizations. Their hearts were failing before they even reached kindergarten. They both have dilated cardiomyopathy, a chronic heart disease that often leads to a heart transplant. This year, neither of my daughters will celebrate their birthdays with their original heart.
Cardiomyopathy has placed an unimaginable burden on our family in every way, emotionally and financially. One year's worth of anti-rejection drugs can exceed $40,000, and the costs of frequent doctor visits two hours away add up quickly. When Madison first got sick she was suffering multiple strokes, and I had to quit my job to care for her. We quickly fell behind in our bills, and we feared we would lose our health insurance and our home. The stress was overwhelming.
But I consider us lucky. Our girls are alive; we still have our home, and it's comforting to know there is an organization we can turn to for help. The Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation (CCF) has always been there for us — offering support and providing financial aid when we desperately needed it.
We were the first family to benefit from CCF's Family Assistance Program. I still remember crying with relief the day they told us they would cover our outstanding bills. Since the program began last year, CCF has helped six families experiencing financial hardship while caring for their child with cardiomyopathy.
Many times people don't realize how devastating cardiomyopathy can be to a family. With cardiomyopathy, our kids often don't look sick. No one sees the scars on their chests or the mountain of bills on the kitchen table. But the reality is that cardiomyopathy affects every aspect of our lives.
Please give to CCF's Spring Appeal in support of CCF's Family Assistance Program. CCF has been a blessing to our family as well as many others. I can tell you from personal experience that financial support can make a great difference in a child's treatment and in the entire family's well being. It definitely did for us.
To make an online donation today, please click here.
Photo of the Rippy family provided by Memorial Blood Centers of MN.