Isabel Rose came into the world and blessed us November 5, 2003.  Her older sister Daisy (two years old at the time) was so excited to meet her new baby sister. Isabel was full term and did well for the first week. At a week old a heart problem was discovered, she was admitted to Children’s Memorial Hospital that day. Isabel was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries and Ebstein malformation. Surgery was performed on November 17th. Isabel was born to eternal life early morning of November 18th. She will remain Forever in our Hearts.

We wish we could say that Isabel’s condition was an isolated one, but that is not the case. In fact, 40,000 babies are born with a congenital heart defect each year in the United States. More than 50 percent of all children born with a congenital heart defect will require a least one invasive surgery in their lifetime and twenty percent of these children will not survive past their first year of life!

In 2004, Forever in our Hearts Gala was created to honor the life and memory of our sweet baby, Isabel Rose.  A committee of friends and family came together to create a fundraiser that would benefit a non-for profit organization.  After researching we came across the Children’s Heart Foundation and they too had the same desire to help children with heart defects.

 All proceeds of our event go to The Children’s Heart Foundation, an organization that funds some of the most promising research for advancing the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of congenital heart defects in children.

CHD Facts:

  • Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) are responsible for one third of all birth defect related deaths, making CHD the number one cause of birth defect related deaths.
  • CHDs are America’s number one birth defect, affecting nearly one out of every 100 births, or 40,000 babies a year. More than 50 percent of all children born with CHD will require a least one invasive surgery in their lifetime. Twenty percent of these children will not survive past their first year of life!
  • CHD research is grossly under funded. Pediatric cancer research is five times higher than CHD research although twice as many children die from CHD each year in the United States than from all forms of childhood cancer combined.
  • Research has already made a difference in the lives of thousands of children and their families. In the last decade, death rates for CHDs have declined by almost 30 percent because of the advances made through research. As more children’s heart abnormalities are treated, research is needed to meet the needs of CHD patients as they reach adulthood.

Heart Helpers
We would like to thank the following individuals who accepted the invitation to be part of Forever in our Hearts as a Heart Helper. These friends and family are the foundation of this event:

  • Joanna Agne (Gala Co-Chair)
  • Mike Agne (Gala Co-Chair)
  • Daisy Agne
  • Tiffany Agne
  • Carson Baca
  • Linda Baca
  • Liz Baca
  • Tiffin Bolger
  • Kate Campagna
  • Katherine Campbell
  • Tammy Cavaliere
  • Rachel Chadesh
  • Jordan Fry
  • Ashley Long
  • Jo Maietta
  • Jana McCartney
  • Janice McElhaney
  • Suzanne Nighswander
  • Alice Obmascik
  • Patti Ricciardi
  • Sarah Rohloff
  • Natalie Roppo
  • Carrie Smrt
  • Allison Sloan
  • Ginny Schoditsch
  • Julia Smrt
  • Kim Smrt