Alivia Willow, she was named this because she is an overcomer. She is a little girl who never gives up, she is relentless in all she does. No matter the battle she faces she withstands the storm. She beats the odds. Alivia is vibrant, smart, and so funny. She loves this life and embraces each day.
She is never alone; her momma is always there to advocate and care for her. Her momma is fierce and loves her so well. She knows Alivia like no one else and even the doctors defer to her for reference when there are challenges, they don’t understand. They have learned that no one knows her better than her momma. Alivia communicates verbally in her own style and with sign language, but she can clearly communicate her needs in her modified language to her mom and her mom can pretty much interpret anything she says. Her momma is her rock, she can calm her when she is frightened and believe me, she has had to withstand a lot of scary things in her lifetime. She can make Alivia laugh and give her all the love and more to overflow. Alivia’s world is pretty wonderful because of her mother.
Her parents chose her name to be Alivia because it has the word Aliv (alive) in it and Willow represents a strong tree that can withstand the storm. You see they knew Alivia would need to be strong for what she would be up against when she came into the world only 6 years ago. They have loved this child and been there through it all, each moment, each operation, each set back, each victory, and each milestone. They spoke over her, they prayed over her, they loved her even before she was born. They so love this child and she them. Alivia, is alive because of love, Gods love, her parents love and anyone who gets to spend a moment with her, she gets their love too. She is alive because of the amazing medical teams she has had working on her, with her and for her over these past 6 years and each of them love her.
We are so blessed to have “The Stollery” here in Edmonton.
Since her transplant, which by the way couldn’t have come at a more urgent moment. Alivia’s own heart stopped beating and they had to restart her heart before they started the transplant.
For the family, not a day goes by or even a moment, I don’t think, that they don’t pause and think about the donor’s family. The gift they gave in midst of their greatest pain, is something Alivia’s parents cherish, but also cry about and mourn with them for their lose. This family is so grateful for this gift of a new heart from this other family, but also feel great sadness for them. I can’t even imagine the emotional rollercoaster this has been for everyone. Please become an organ donar.
Now, after all this, they have a new normal. You see Alivia has been a very sick little girl for her whole life even before she was born because her heart was so sick. Now that Alivia has a new heart, things are so different. They have to learn so many new things, deal with a child that has energy, wants to do and try new things and EAT. Before Alivia had little energy, was cold to the touch and didn’t eat, her diet was limited to formula for medical reasons. Now she wants to do things like play on her swing in the basement, before it made her feel sick or she was too tired to enjoy it. Now she is eating the most interesting things and combinations. Its so fun to watch her enjoy food but with all this her momma has to keep a close watch because she can’t eat too much or she will be sick, she can’t do too much yet because her body has too heal and she is warm to the touch. This is all new and a balancing act that they are learning to work through.
Her parents have said they think they need to take a parenting class because they have never had to deal with all of this before. There are many happy challenges, but also some scary stuff too. Alivia had internal bleeding after the transplant surgery, they had to open her up again, she had a lung collapse and had to be intubated, and she has had some seizures which they are trying to figure out why. All of this is scary and these are just a few of the new challenges they face daily. Alivia is on a lot of new medication since her transplant, she has lots of follow up appointments and needs to be monitored at all times. Makes sleeping for momma a challenge.
So, with all of this, we at Anchored just want to give back to this beautiful family that has inspired us to love well, live full and be grateful for the moments.
We have started the “Alivia Collection” with our very talented friend Justine Ma to raise funds for Alivia and her family. We chose the scripture verse John 3:16 because it is all about love and the heart on the shirt represents Alivia’s new heart.
God, “So Loved” us and He so loves Alivia!!!
This family will need to stay in Edmonton for another year and this requires funding. There is so much they have sacrificed but they have such gratitude. Alivia needs to be here because of the medical expertise for her unique case. They wouldn’t be anywhere else. This is what is best for Alivia’s care.
All the proceeds from the Alivia Collection will go directly to the family. We believe this collection is beautiful and amazing quality. What a lovely gift. It’s a win, win. You give a gift to someone you love. Remember Mother’s Day is coming or a gift for yourself (because you are worth it) and in that gift you are giving give back to Alivia. This is not about charity, its about community helping one of ours in need, lifting each other up and loving well.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support in this amazing venture.
Sarah and Kathie