Camp Odayin 2023: Summer Camp (and more!) for Heart Warriors

What better way to celebrate spring – start planning summer camps! Nothing makes me happier in the cold winter months than to plan our time during the warm summer sun. With two in college, there is only one teen left at home to plan summer adventures. Top of his request list – Camp Odayin.


I really think my accolades from the Camp Odayin 2019 post I wrote sums up Camp Odayin the best. As a parent who has handed off their child as a newborn to a surgical heart team, the stress level was about the same when deciding if signing him up for a four night sleep-away camp (without access to technology!) would be good for them. Turns out it was one of the best decisions we made.

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Number One Birth Defect: Congenital Heart Defect

That title may sound shocking. The truth is that nearly 1 in 100 babies born each day have a congenital heart defect (CHD). Some go unnoticed. Others become apparently within a few days or month of birth. Then there are those that (thankfully) are noticed before birth and require surgery within days of arriving in the world. This week, February 7th – 14th, we are going to highlight on our social media pages areas of all things CHD, but today want to share with your a bit of our heart journey.

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Camp Odayin Review: Summer Camp for Children with Heart Disease

With summer fast approaching, we started to take a peek at the plans for the summer. College visits? Check. Swim team? Check. Driver’s Ed? Check. Hockey Camp? Check. Band Camp? Check. Just when I thought I was done with our list, Owen yells “DON’T FORGET ABOUT HEART CAMP!!!!”. Needless to say – he is excited to attend Camp Odayin for a third summer.

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My Heart Mom Journey – my son’s CHD History

First, do you know what CHD stands for?  I know I didn’t 10 years ago.  Yet over 40,000 infants are born each year with a Congential Heart Defect and still the awareness isn’t where it should be.  When you are at your twenty week ultrasound you are usually hoping for either a boy or a girl.  I know I was on “team girl” (hey, I had two boys at home already) but deep down every mother is truly hoping for healthy.  At the end of the ultrasound I was 0-2.  While unaware at the time, I was starting my journey as a “heart mom”. Read more

No, He Really COULDN’T Hear Me: Hearing Loss in Grade School

Unexpected Diagnosis: Hearing Loss in 2nd Grade

With a household of three boys, quiet isn’t a phrase that it uttered here often.  It is loud.  All. The. Time.  From the moment they wake up (usually in the 6 o’clock hour even on the weekends) until lights out (10pm if I’m lucky), our house is noisy.  To combat all this noise, I usually have to be louder then the boys.  Even before the three boys I was known for my ability to “project” my voice.  Even with my volume ability it never fails that someone “couldn’t hear me”.  Because of this I didn’t give it much thought when Owen couldn’t hear me.  Selective hearing was my assumption, not hearing loss.  However, after a marathon month of hearing tests, it seemed our little Owen had some pretty crappy hearing.   Read more