A New Heart for Sade'

My name is Sade Dubois. I am 27 years old, and have struggled with heart disease for every year of my life. I was born with a rare, complex heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot, which required open heart surgery at the age of 2 to repair. My mother was told I may not make it to five years old, then to eleven years old, but I continued on despite the odds. In high school, I was diagnosed with third-degree heart block and had to be implanted with a pacemaker. This prevented me from participating in physical education and sports. When I was 20, it was found that my pulmonary valve was leaking and needed to be replaced. While in the hospital for the surgery, I had a second surgery to upgrade my pacemaker to a defibrillator. The back to back surgeries took a toll on my already weak heart. I suffered a near fatal arrhythmia and needed to be in a medically induced coma for over a week while my heart strengthened.
Despite all of this, I continued to press on with my weakening heart and managed to give birth to two wonderful boys, 4-year-old Diyari and 9-month-old Grayson. They mean the world to me and give me the courage I need to face the most difficult part of my journey so far, heart transplant. My heart’s function has decreased substantially and it is clear that I will not survive very long with my heart. At this point, even walking is difficult. Getting upstairs to my bedroom takes multiple breaks to catch my breath. Grayson is getting bigger and more difficult for me to carry, and Diyari is nearly impossible for me to keep up with.
I have a lot to live for and this transplant is the only way for me to see any of it through. I hope to complete my Bachelor’s degree in psychology, making me the first to graduate from college in my family. I hope to see my boys grow into the great men they are destined to be. I hope to live a life that is at least close to normal, and not hindered by a defective heart.
I do have health insurance that will cover a majority of the medical costs, but I am asking for donations to help with the remainder of the medical costs, prescription costs, travel expenses, and, most of all, childcare for my children, since they currently stay home with me. My husband works full-time to care for us, but we live paycheck to paycheck with no savings, and I know the extra expenses will be too much for him to handle alone. We have a long road to travel ahead of us, and any help is greatly appreciated.
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Sade Smith Dubois 
Conshohocken, PA
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