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Jameson’s Army Raising Awareness About CHD

Danielle McKain, Co-Founder and President of Jameson’s Army would like to share the story of how this organization began and why it is so important to raise awareness and CHD, Congenital Heart Defects. This has been quite the journey.  We started Jameson’s Army in honor of my son Jameson McKain who was born 9/2010 with Hypo Plastic Left Heart Syndrome.  After 4 open heart surgeries all under the age of 3 months we were fortunate enough to place Jameson on the C.O.R.E. heart organ donation list.  At 11 months old Jameson underwent his 5th open heart surgery being a heart transplant.  After a long year of living at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh we were finally on the mend and Jameson began to thrive.  During the past 6 months Jameson has been playing catch up physically and mentally, however, we learned in June of this year Jameson was going to have to under go his 6th open heart surgery due to scar tissue issues as well as obstruction to his trachea due to stints placed in his innominate vein when he was 3 months old.  In October of 2012 Jameson underwent a much needed surgery that was clearly compensating his breathing.  Following the surgery Jameson has been once again thriving and continuing that never ending fight to survive. These surgeries are just a part of Jameson’s health.  Jameson is immune suppressed so doing “normal” kid things are very limited.  Jameson has 5 days a week of therapies including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and he visits with a specialist.  He sleeps with oxygen as well as a pulse ox machine and has a never ending list of medications.  Jameson also has a heart biopsy to check for rejection every 6 weeks in the heart cath lab and gets blood work/clinic visits weekly.  Its a never ending battle to keep Jameson alive and healthy but this is one fight we will never stop battling! During all of Jameson’s struggles and fight my husband and I along with a board of directors created a non-profit organization called “Jameson’s Army.”  We fight daily to spread awareness about Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) as well as using funds to help support families and patients effected by CHD.  We do monthly drops at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh heart center and The Children’s Home to help provide necessities that families may need during their stay.  We also provide items to the staff as a “thank you” for all they do and donating their life’s work to CHD.  One of our biggest funding projects are providing therapeutic cough pillows for the children during their recovery (picture of patient attached).  The cough pillows are a “wish list” item the C.I.C.U. of CHP requested from us.  We are also serving Thanksgiving Dinner on Thanksgiving day to the families and staff of the CHP heart center. I have attached our latest quarterly newsletter for a better understanding of our mission. Please enjoy and contact me with any other questions!  Please visit our website and Facebook page also!

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