Liam was born on Thursday, January 8th, 2009 to proud first time parent Daradee Olson. I was blessed to have the opportunity spend 26 wonderful days with my son Liam before he passed away on Monday, February 2nd, 2009.
Liam had a congenital heart defect, 4 defects in total that would require several surgeries to correct. He had rare defects and his heart only had 2 chambers. I spent the entire month in the ICU with Liam. During that time I started a CaringBridge page to post progress of his surgeries with loved ones. I would post messages daily of our setbacks and successes and the followers grew by the day. It was half way through our journey that Liam’s life took on its meaning, LoveIAM. The amount of support and love being sent my way from friends, family and strangers became overwhelming and it was this love that carried me through my most difficult time and kept me from going into a downward spiral.
Initially LoveIAM was more of an awareness, I had shirts made and gave money to American Heart Association via their Heart Walk each year. I wanted to do more though and make a bigger contribution with LoveIAM and by fait I met Dan and Margaret Majetich. Dan and Margaret started the Nick and Kelly Foundation in honor of their 2 sons who had passed from congenital heart defects. For 25+ years Nick and Kelly sent thousands of kids to Heart Camp. 100 kids go to the camp each year and require 50 volunteers from camp counselors, doctors and nurses to be available at all times. The camp Friendly Pines in Prescott, AZ is like most camps where kids can swim, boat, ride horses, arts and crafts, climb rock walls and much more. The difference with this camp is there are 30 medical professionals attending the camp prepared for all circumstances. This allows the kids the confidence to go and have fun! We’ve heard several testimonials from the children that the camp changed their life. Parents can’t believe how their children come back after attending; we hear the children gain a new sense of confidence and are beaming ear to ear.
LoveIAM has made the commitment to raise money so we can send heart kids to camp. It costs roughly $600 per camper for the week. Our big fundraiser is held in the Spring each year at tScottsdale Hanger One. We call it the LoveIAM Heart and Soul. We have great food, plenty of drinks, a live & silent auction and other fun prizes for our generous attendees. This includes a $10,000 reverse raffle giveaway! The first 300 tickets purchased get entered into the reverse raffle. The best part of our event is it’s just a lot of fun. I wanted to have a fundraising event that people had a great time at. I think I have accomplished this!