WILLISTON — One girl diagnosed with a rare heart condition has found a way to comfort other children stuck in the hospital during the holiday months spreading some original holiday cheer.
“Chloe was born in Bismarck, North Dakota, in 2008. Her mom worked with the three of us at MDU and Chloe was born with a heart condition,” said Dawn Roness, Chloe’s Heart Team Member.
That heart condition was Transposition of the great arteries, which means her pulmonary and aorta were formed backwards and being that she was in and out of hospitals, she felt the hardships of life early.
“She was flown out of Bismarck to the cities for a heart surgery. She’s now 11 and has had four heart surgeries throughout her life,” said Roness.
Moving hospital to hospital, Chloe missed a lot of traditional holiday festivities, but that is where she was inspired to change that narrative for other kids.
“Three years ago, little Chloe, who was saving money for an XBOX, asked her mom if she could take that money and buy toys to donate to kids in the hospital in Boise, Idaho, because that’s where they live now. So she wanted to take her money and give those toys to the kids in the hospital over Christmas,” said Roness.
“So this donation is absolutely amazing, it’s wonderful, it’s fantastic. To be able to see kids faces light up when you bring them a card or bring them a toy is wonderful and then the parents get gifts cards as well. Chloe’s Heart has gift cards for the parents,” said Katrina Mitchell, Director for ICU.
Within three years, Chloe’s Heart has raised nearly $20,000 worth of toys to be given away with hopes to grow and improve each year.
“I think that they just.. the more support they get then the bigger they’ll go. They would love to do as many hospitals as possible,” said Roness.