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Monday, February 18, 2013

Motivational Mondays: How to Heal Broken Hearts: Sandy Hook Promise & a 5 Year Old Heart Transplant Recipient

Katy (Rockstar) Murphy at Boston Children's Hospital
Thought for the Day: Last week on Valentine's Day I joined thousands of concerned citizens on a March for Change. I planned to write about my experiences at the rally today. It was a powerful day which brought tears & calls for action by parents & siblings whose hearts were broken by gun violence but whose spirit is unshaken. They vow to help make changes in gun laws to prevent events like those that happened two months ago in Newtown CT. In the interim, since Valentine's Day, I learned of another family's journey from a broken heart to hope & healing. I decided to tell both stories in this post with a request to support both endeavors to heal broken hearts.

      The first part of how to mend broken hearts began at the March for Change Rally in Hartford CT. The signs were powerful in & of themselves.  The one above sums up for me the most important reason to take a stand. Our constitution promises: "Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness Life Comes First."  On the right, the poster reports that, "There have been 1,774 gun related deaths in the 2 months since the Sandy Hook Tragedy. "The third sign says, "Who in your life would have to die from gun violence before you would want to see gun laws change?"
     To see thousands of people, men, women & children from around CT  taking time on a Thursday morning to take a stand, many for the first time in their lives, against gun violence was encouraging. There were "Newtown Moms for Change" & children climbing on snowdrifts demanding change now & signs saying that, "Enough is enough."
      The speakers, however, brought home both the urgency & the challenge ahead of every citizen who backs the need for rational reform of the laws surrounding guns in our nation. Veronique Pozner, mother of Noah Posner, who at 6 years old was the youngest of the Sandy Hook shooting victims, told of how her young son would ask her questions that at times she did not know how to answer him. Her young philosopher asked, "If God created the universe, who created God?" This young child lost the opportunity to grow up with his twin sister & best friend who now fears she "will forget the sound of her brother's voice." His mother vows not to let people forget her son & to make sure laws are changed to help prevent losses like these from happening.
     Jillian Soto, sister of teacher Victoria Soto, who died protecting her students, also spoke of how proud her sister would be that she & others are taking a stand against gun violence. She forced back tears as she spoke of how she feels robbed of sharing a life full of Christmas mornings, weddings, births of children, the children she hopes to have not having cousins, or their aunt & not growing old with her sister who was her hero long before the tragedy. Jillian asked the audience "to think about the five most important people to you. What if you wrote those five names down on a piece of paper, handed it to me, and I crossed one of them out. How would that impact you?”
     Finally, we learned from our state officials, including Gov. Dannel Malloy, Republican Senate Minority Leader John McKinney who want to do what is right & make necessary reforms (tighter ban on assault-style weapons, a limit on high-capacity ammunition magazines & the creation of a universal background check system). However, those who want reform must speak up & contact their elected representatives. The gun lobby is sending one hundred letters to every one from those who want change. For our elected officials to do what they feel is right, they need to hear from those who want change. If your heart, like our country's heart has been broken by the increasing gun violence & you want to make changes, take a stand & speak up.
     The second story on how to mend a broken heart came to me from my daughter, Lee, via facebook. She asked me to share a post on my facebook page, since there are close to 1000 fans & hundreds of pages following my page. When I read about 5 year old Katy who has been waiting for over two years & living with a life threatening heart condition since she was born, I knew it was important to share. I offered to share it on twitter, facebook & my blog as soon as possible.  Here's what my daughter wrote:
Katy sitting up in the hospital after the operation
"Mom, I am wondering if you can share this link to give to Katy (Rockstar) Murphy on your Wake Up and Dream Challenge page? Katy is a 5 year old girl who received a new heart on 2/13/13 at Children's Hospital in Boston. Katy's mother, Amiee Sullivan Murphy, is a friend of mine from Bay Path College (where my daughter completed her BA & is completing her Master's Degree in an intensive program on Saturdays).  Both Aimiee & her husband have lost their jobs due to the demands that taking care of Katy has put on their time. There is a 30 day on-line fundraiser where people can help the family with medical expenses. No gift is too small, even if everyone gave $1 it would make a world of difference. On the fundraiser site there are links to Katy's Facebook group, the Murphy Family blog & the "Be A Rock For Katy" fund webpage where people can get more detailed info on Katy & her condition. It would mean a lot if you would be willing to post this on your page to try to get Katy's story out too as many people as possible. She truly is an amazing little girl."
To view a video from WHDH Channel 7 Boston about Katy click here:

or  on WBZ TV Boston click here:

I hope you will take action & help. We can all write & make calls to our elected officials to help prevent broken hearts. Any assistance you can give to Katy & her family will help her heal. ( We cannot bring back the children who have lost their lives to gun violence, but we can help Katy have the life she & all children deserve. 

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