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Welcome to my CHOC Walk Fundraising Page!

Heather Gutowski
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Heather Gutowski

This is my why...

Why I fundraise for CHOC Children's Hospital Orange County Walk in the Park at Disneyland.
 
When I was just 3 weeks old during a scheduled check-up, the Dr noticed I was a little chunky and my foot was a little blue. After further testing, it was diagnosed that I was in heart failure.

At the mere age of only 3 weeks old, I had my first open heart surgeries and spent the next month in Children's Hospital Miami.

My parents got their Christmas wish to have me home by Christmas.
The ICU was over where the ambulance pulled into the bay for the emergency room. The whole month I was there, I heard sirens. Till this day, I am afraid of siren.

Fast forward to when I was 6 years old.
I found out I was in heart failure again. 

This time, I had open heart surgery at Children's Hospital San Diego.
Since I was older, I got to participate in so many of the fun activities Children's Hospital had to offer. I was also picked to be featured on the local news, along with one other patient who had a near drowning. 

When I was 12, I went in for a regular heart checkup, and my mom was mad at me for not standing up straight for the x-ray. The Dr told my mom and I that I was standing up straight for the x-ray, however I had scoliosis. The scoliosis was bad, and I had to have emergency surgery before my spine hit my lungs on both sides.

This surgery I had at CHOC Children's Hospital Orange County; I have fond memories of CHOC. 

I remember a group came in and sang to us and gave us a CD afterward.
I also remember the teen only playroom.

It's nice that CHOC has different play areas for each stage of your life, and the staff is so nice.

While staying at CHOC, one of my mom friends gave me a tree with a bunch of candy sticking out of the branches since we weren't sure if I was going to have to miss Halloween or not. Another one of my mom's friends gave me a stuffed animal bunny I named Raspberry. Till this day, I still have my favorite bunny, Raspberry.
When I came back home from having back surgery, it took me a year to learn how to walk again.

Imagine being 12 and having to learn how to walk again like a toddler .
Fast forward till I was 21. I had my third heart surgery at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Even though technically I was too old for Children's Hospital, I was able to stay there because of my history.

All my stays at Children's Hospitals were good. I like to give back since they have done so much for me.

Children's Hospital has been by my side my whole life through all my surgeries.
This walk is especially important to me since it ties my love for CHOC and my love for Disneyland together.

Disneyland also always holds a special place in my heart because it leaves the world behind and enters a world of fantasy where there is always blue skies and sunshine.

A dream is a wish your heart makes when you're fast asleep.

My dream is to fundraise as much as I can for CHOC hospital. Children's Hospital Orange County.

Thank you.
Heather

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