Lennah Loves Life!

$27,010 of $25k goal

Raised by 327 people in 43 months
Ashleigh Martinez  SPARKS, NV
Hello! My name is Lennah Sofia.  Every day of life has been a battle.   I was born on December 22, 2011 with Gastroschisis; all my intestines were outside of my abdominal wall.  Doctors don't know what causes this, but 1 in 10,000 babies are born with this defect.  I spent the first four months and four days of my life in the hospital in the Intensive Care Unit.  My parents and I were delighted when I was stable enough to go home!  At last they didn't have to leave me hooked up to machines with strangers taking care of me.  We could finally begin our lives together!  It wasn't long after I got home though, that I was put through a barrage of tests and eventually diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.  Apparently, during one of my six major surgeries I had suffered a stroke.

Have you ever wished that your energetic children would just be calm and sit still for a few minutes?  My family will never wish that.  My family wishes for the exact opposite.  I cannot sit, I cannot roll, I cannot walk, I cannot hold things in my hands, I cannot eat, and I cannot talk.  I just lay where and how I am placed or when I am held by a loved one's arms.  I am two years old and I am unable to do things a "˜typical' child my age can do.  When I am at my grandparents' house with my cousins, they all run around in circles and play while I can only listen from a distance: or as I like to call it, "hang with the adults."  However - I CAN smile, I CAN laugh, I CAN give you a high five and I DO love life! 

My daddy, Misael, works two jobs while my mommy, Ashleigh, stays home with me and my little sister.  Mommy isn't able to go back to work because of my medical needs.  I have a great team of specialists and therapists that I see frequently.  My sister, Truby, is six months old and is already sitting and rolling all over the place.  I watch and wonder at how she does it all.  I am so very grateful that she doesn't have to endure the therapies that I go through.

My parents have done research on ways to improve the quality of my life.  They have found a promising procedure that will be fairly painless for me!  However, it is currently not covered by insurance.  I have met a local friend who has gone through this simple blood transfusion and now at age 7 she walks (with support) and is able to do things I can only dream of doing!   I can only hope to walk myself in to my first day of school and not be wheel-chaired in to class, to go to my high school prom, to walk down the aisle at my college graduation and most of all to have that first dance with my daddy when I get married.

My mommy and daddy aren't ones to ask for financial help so I figured I would give it a shot.  For my second birthday I made a wish to help my parents raise the money that is needed for this procedure.  The blood transfusion is going to cost $17,000 and the intensive physical therapy which accompanies it will cost $4,000.  There is no guarantee that this will work miracles, but we have to try!  With your help and generosity I may gain some independence and have an easier, more fulfilling life.  

Please visit http://www.gofundme.com/LennahLovesLife to be part of my journey.

I would personally like to thank you for your help in making my dreams come true.  I will leave you with a truism that my daddy reminds my sister and I all the time, "Your worst day is someone else's best day."  Life is what you make of it!  

Lennah Sofia
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Update 36
Posted by Ashleigh Martinez
3 months ago
Thank you all for your feedback on Lennah's next chapter in life. It has been a very difficult decision to make. When the questions and scenarios were brought in for guidance, most of you weighed in to say you would proceed with the hip surgery regardless of the difficulties and struggles that will inevitably accompany it. When we asked our immediate family, they could not or would not voice an opinion, as it was to close for their comfort. I don't blame them. I wouldn't know what to say if it were my niece or nephew, whom I adore so much.
In our struggle to feel comfortable with our decision, we sought a second opinion at Stanford Children's Hospital. We weren't necessarily seeking a different answer but more so a consistent one. Boy did we get one! The team at Stanford agreed that this surgery is a MUST, regardless of the risk factors. I won't go into detail as it virtually mirrored the first plan of action. In a nut shell, they made it clear to us that time and age is not our friend in this situation. The sooner we go through with this surgery, the easier it will be for Lennah to recover.
Ashleigh and I started out on this journey to give Lennah a better quality of life. I'll be honest - I'm afraid, but I know I'm not alone. We have over 1.5k followers who are behind us and most important behind Lennah. If it wasn't for YOU, Lennah wouldn't be where she is today. Your generous donations and whole hearted support, from strangers, to colleagues, to friends and family. Even the Mestizos biker club and a biker bar, Alturas pitched in with every effort to shower love on our girl. Because of Lennah and the difference she makes in people's lives, I will forever have a family member in every part of this world.
Not out of selfishly wanting to dance with my daughter but instead to provide her the best, least painful quality of life possible, Ashleigh and I have elected to follow the initial plan. On September 26, 2016 Lennah will undergo a bilateral hip reconstruction. We will be at Shriner's Children's Hospital in Sacramento for approximately two weeks.
I'd like to give a special THANKS to my coworkers (aka family) at TriNet for donating 140 vacation hours so I may focus on Lennah and not worry about getting back to work and figuring out how to pay for our benefits.
Thank you all again and we are truly blessed to have amazing people like you supporting us. We will post updates on Lennah's website the day of her surgery and thereafter.
WWW.LennahLovesLife.com
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Update 35
Posted by Ashleigh Martinez
11 months ago
1
1
Lennah Loves Life- Benefit Bash

January 16th, 2016 - Noon-?
Hosted by: Alturas Bar & Night Club
Sponsored by: Mestizos MC


My name is Lennah and I just turned four years old. Last time I wrote a letter I was two years old. (You may read my first letter at www.LennahLovesLife.com). I was trying to help my mommy and daddy reach our goal to raise enough money for me to undergo a procedure as well as a month of Intensive Physical Therapies, which both had the potential to give me a better quality of life.
Let us recap a little, shall we? I was born with Gastroschisis, which means my intestines formed outside of my abdominal wall. After six major surgeries and four months and four days in the Intensive Care Unit, I was sent home to my loving family so we could finally start our life together. Soon after, we found out that I had suffered a stroke during one of those invasive surgeries, which forever changed my life as we all had envisioned it would be. I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 6 months old.
After hours of research, my parents learned of a potentially life improving, non-invasive blood transfusion using the stem cells from umbilical cord blood. With the generosity of our friends, family, community and complete (yet loved) strangers, we met our goal to raise enough funds for me to have this procedure done. We also were able to spend an entire month at an amazing physical therapy facility call PolFit Wellness in Brea, California that helped to build up my muscles and teach me many things I didn’t know before. In my first letter I said, “I cannot sit, I cannot roll, I cannot walk, I cannot hold things in my hands, I cannot eat, I cannot talk.” Well, after last year’s procedure and therapy I CAN talk! I love to say “hi” to anyone and everyone. I CAN see! I watch my baby sister Truby run around all day and my mommy can’t sneak up on me anymore. I am learning to balance so that soon I will be able to sit on my own and I am learning how to take steps because I WANT to WALK and RUN beside my sister!
Every day when my daddy gets home from work I watch as Truby runs to greet him with open arms and then together they come to greet me. During my weekly therapy sessions I try to keep my goal in mind – I want to run into my daddy’s arms when he gets home from work! I can take reciprocal steps but that is no longer an accomplishment for me. I NEED to WALK! Will you help me?
My parents have put a deposit down of $500 to go back to Polfit Therapy in Brea, California for March 21st-April 15th of 2016. Our insurance doesn't cover it and it costs $8,200 for the four week Intensive Therapy program. I know my parents are trying to figure out how to pay for my therapy but perhaps you could help them out a little? Or, as my parents always say, “Please simply share our story… something good will come out of it!” Please join us on January 16th 2016 at Alturas Bar for a fun raffle, silent auctions, and carnival day.
Thank you,
Lennah Sofia Martinez

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Update 34
Posted by Ashleigh Martinez
12 months ago
2
2
WOW!!! One year ago today (November 13), you - our Lennah Believers, helped us to reach our seemingly unobtainable goal of raising enough funds to provide Lennah with a potentially life changing blood transfusion. I will never forget telling her, “Manos arriba!” two days after her procedure and without hesitation she raised both her hands in the air. At that moment I knew that we had made the right decision. I knew that the risk that we took was worth it. I was the proudest papa in the world! We cannot begin to thank you all for believing in our Lennah. Ashleigh says it best, “it takes a village to raise a child.” In our case it took the world…A world who graciously came together to give a child better quality of life.
How is Lennah doing now? Well, if you greet her she will say, "Hi" and wave to you; if you ask her to dance (in Spanish or in English!) she will show you her moves; if you ask her to go, she will take steps; and when you tell her you love her she will blow you a kiss.
Thank you for being our HEROES and changing Lennah's life.
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Update 33
Posted by Ashleigh Martinez
26 months ago
Well, the countdown starts! Lennah's big day is exactly ONE MONTH from today! November 13th, here we come!

Its amazing how quickly this has all happened. To think, it was less than a year ago that we set our goal. At that time it seemed extremely far fetched. How were we going to raise $21,000?! But with the help of friends, family and complete strangers we have been able to book the first day of the rest of Lennah's life!

We will be sure to post updates and photos of our experience on our blog, http://www.lennahloveslife.com

Thank you, thank you, thank you all!
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 1.8K total shares
Kim Sydnor
11 months ago

This amazing little girl is such an inspiration to everyone that meets her! Can't wait for the Benefit Bash on the 16th!

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Lori Mayes Gazaway
33 months ago

Please let us help this girl, she deserve a good life. Her father work with me. Any donation will do.

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$27,010 of $25k goal

Raised by 327 people in 43 months
Created May 13, 2013
Ashleigh Martinez  
EC
$250
Eleanor Caplovitz
2 months ago

Sending you a big hug from your friend Eleanor!

$150
Susan Fisher
2 months ago
SJ
$25
susan johnson
2 months ago
TM
$1,000
Tom&Rita McNamara
3 months ago
$20
Anonymous
4 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$50
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5 months ago
$20
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6 months ago (Monthly Donation)
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7 months ago (Monthly Donation)
BM
$20
Brent Mercer
7 months ago
Kim Sydnor
11 months ago

This amazing little girl is such an inspiration to everyone that meets her! Can't wait for the Benefit Bash on the 16th!

+ Read More
Lori Mayes Gazaway
33 months ago

Please let us help this girl, she deserve a good life. Her father work with me. Any donation will do.

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