12/7/2011 2:59 PM
By Becca Atherton
This weekend my family and I will have 300 or more people in our Arizona backyard for our annual Winter Party. The party was originally started about 10 years ago when my parents had snow brought into our front yard so I could see real snow, since going up into the mountains isn’t something I can do without oxygen. Family members and neighbors were originally the guests until we moved into our new house that can host more people because we have a larger backyard.
Now, thanks to a camp that I go to and several other CHD support groups, our party has become a huge get-together for kids with CHD and their families.
Every year I look forward to this party for the simple fact that I will be surrounded by people who understand what I am going through and truly care for me. I see friends from heart camp that I don’t get to see very often and we are able to catch up. Between the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., I am with people to whom I can relate, people who are understanding and loving.
I am with my heart family once a year at our Winter Party. I have been to other parties in my life, birthday parties and other get-togethers with friends. But I have yet to go to a party that has more love, warmth and heart than the Winter Party we host every year.
While I know that it is a bit late to catch a flight here to Phoenix, I’d like to give you all a heads up about next year’s party. It happens every year on the second Saturday in December from 1 p.m to 4 p.m. We have snow, Santa (who comes to take pictures with the kids), food, crafts and the opportunity to be surrounded by people who—even though you may have just met—truly care and understand what you are going through because we are all in the same boat. If you’d like more information about the party, feel free to e-mail your name and contact information here for more details and hopefully I will see some of you there next year!
Becca Atherton was born with tetralogy of Fallot, pulmonary atresia and pulmonary hypertension. She was adopted as a baby into a large multiracial family, where she is the second youngest. Becca was given a 13% chance of surviving to the age of five, but she is 19 years old and a college freshman at her local community college. She loves to read, perform American Sign Language to music and write on her blog.
1 comment(s) so far...
By Connie on
12/7/2011 11:03 PM
Re: Surrounded with Heart in the “Snow”
Too cool - uh - yeah, the snow (of which we just had 5 inches) and your great sounding party! Besides, my best friend lives in Phoenix.
What an opportunity to "throw snowballs" but this year I'll be at a craft sale myself . And -- I could visit my friend, too! She lives on the west side of PHX. Maybe next year?