Dear Friend of DMRF,

                I’m sure you have at least one special woman or girl in your life.

                I have two. My daughters, Ashlyn, who is three. And her baby sister Everly, who just turned 6 months old.

                I get choked up just thinking about it. I wasn’t sure that Everly would survive.

                You see, Everly was born with very serious congenital heart disease. At 2 days old, she endured the first of many open heart surgeries. As you can imagine, it’s hard for me to think back to those days. Everly’s chest was open for 5 days as they worked to improve her heart function.

                Her father and I often sat there and watched her little heart beating through a bandage. It was the size of a walnut.

                But miracles happen. Six weeks later we brought Everly home. She still had appointments in Halifax, three hours away, from our home near Antigonish. But it was wonderful to be home, where her big sister helped to care for her too.

                Friend, I’ll tell you more about Everly but first let me tell you about why I volunteered to write you on behalf of the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation.

                My little angel is still alive today because people like you make gifts to cardiovascular research. So please let me express my special thank to you for supporting the Mollly Appeal.

                Did you know that people in the Maritimes have Canada’s highest rate of heart disease? The Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation is funding research on how to reduce heart disease. Thtis research will help people right here, across the country, and around the world.

                Friend, can I count on you to join me and make a donation to support critical heart research funded by the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation? Your gift will help us reach the $100,000 goal needed to expand biobank facilities, enhance capacity for sample and data collection and strengthen collaborative research. Research that increases our understanding of the heart and helps save the lives of patients both old and young. Including babies like our Everly.

                Congenital heart defects in babies are actually quite common. They affect 1 in 100 babies. Their cause is often unknown, but research is helping us understand why, saving the lives of precious newborns.

                In fact, if this had happened 10 years ago it’s unlikely that Everly’s outcome would have been as positive. I’m so thankful that we got to celebrate her first half-year birthday a few weeks ago. And seeing how fast research is advancing, I’m confident we’ll get to celebrate many other milestones with her.

                At 6 months, she’s now up to 14lbs and over 2 feet long! She can roll from back to bell and vice versa, but usually only so she can get a better view of her big sister.

                Everly’s journey is far from over though. Her doctors are discussing surgery plans to further improve her heart function. At one point they told us we might need to transfer her to Toronto for care. But after speaking with her doctors there, they recommended we stay here, because she’s getting the best care right here in Nova Scotia!

                Keeping Everly alive has been a team effort. You’re a critical part of that team too. Because your generosity supports life-saving research funded by Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation.

                So please let me thank you again for your kindness. Donors like you have made a life-changing gift to families like mine. Today, I hope you will make a generous gift to help further critical heart research. You’ll help save the lives of Maritimers of all ages, including kids like our beautiful little Everly.

                                With my sincerest regards,


                                Kaitlin Porter
                                Everly’s grateful mother

P.S.         You might know the Molly Appeal is named after Molly Moore. She believed that scientific research would lead to life-saving cures. And she was so right! Thanks to donors like you, there have been many amazing breakthroughs.

P.P.S.     This Mother’s Day will be extra special. We have both our girls home with us. Please donate to help other families affected by heart disease.