Friday, June 24, 2011

Under Our UmbrELLA

I grew up on the Central Coast of California and my parents still live there, so I know I have a lot of blog readers in San Luis Obispo county. This blog entry's for you. :-)

I recently met a newly expectant mom, Melissa, whose special HLHS baby Ella, is due in September. She's going to have her surgeries at CHLA with Dr. Starnes (Bodie's surgeon and hospital). What makes this story so special is that she's from Arroyo Grande!!! What a small world - to meet another parent of a child with Bodie's extremely rare heart defect in my hometown of less than 20,000 people! I'd say this is a case of God putting us in one another's paths, for sure.

Melissa and her husband, Brady, are holding a benefit called "Under Our Umbrella: A benefit for Baby Ella Beckstead" to raise funds for the enormous hospital bills and relocation costs they have in front of them. The benefit is Friday July 8 at the Pismo Vets Hall. Tickets are only $30 and it sounds like it is going to be an incredible evening of fun performances and entertainment! Please consider taking some time out of your busy weekend to support another amazing little heart hero. If you've been following our blog for any length of time, you know the uphill battle so many of these special children and their families face - won't you help another family out as they prepare for this battle???

You can find out all about the event at Benefit for Baby Ella and you can see an interview with her sweet parents (shown on KSBY today!) here:



  1. What a small world! So glad you were able to connect with her! Although I must admit, though... I'm very curious who came up with this "TWO in 10,000" babies having HLHS??! That one's way out there! ;)

  2. Hey Amy thank you so much for posting this here! This is SOOO sweet of you! Thank you for bringing me into this wonderful support group! you are the best!I really cant wait to meet you and Bodie! Oh and for the poster aboves question as to where that statistic came from it came from the American Heart association, ( ksby talked to them as well as I did ) also one of our drs that we were reffered too, gave us that as well. :)
    xoxo Melissa Beckstead

  3. CDC estimates that each year about 975 babies in the United States are born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) (1). In other words, each year about 2 out of every 10,000 babies born will be born with HLHS.

  4. Amy, you are an amazing heart warrior mama. You are like a lioness protecting all the "cubs" in her pack. As for Ella's fundraiser - it sounds amazing, the best fundraiser idea I have ever heard of. I wish I could fly in from Kentucky to attend the event ;D Please let Melissa know Ella and her mommy and daddy will be in my thoughts and prayers.


  5. Brie! thank you so much! what a nice thing to say! and yes i agree she is great with about protecting her "pack" its been the best! Thank you for praying for us!!! I hope all is wonderful with you!