Q3 JA Newsletter (1) .pdf
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July through September 2012
The Army Goes Nationwide!
Across the United States in Portland, Oregon another Build-A-Bear drive
was created. Danielle’s cousin, Kyla Denniston hosted this event in honor of
her nephew, Jameson. It was held at Washington Square mall and all bears
made were dropped off at Emanuel Children’s Hospital. Kyla also offered if
somebody could not be there and still wanted to donate a bear, she would
accept gift cards and build a bear for them. Jameson’s Army has been
extending out of the Pittsburgh area, thanks to those individuals who are
inspired by the organization and want to go extra measures to help spread
CHD awareness. Thank you, Kyla!
♣ Toy Drive will run October to December. Please contact, Kathy Helbling, at
email@example.com if you are interested in volunteering your time or
making a donation.
♣ The Heart Walk will take place at 10:00am on Saturday, November 3rd. Join our
team by signing up at www.heart.org/pittsburghwalk.
♣ On November 9th Jameson’s Army is partnering with The Children’s Home and
Lemieux Foundation to deliver “The Children’s Hometown Hero Luncheon.” The event
is being held at the Lexus Club in Pittsburgh. Featured speaker and hometown hero
award winner, Dr. Jennifer Arnold, is our featured "Hero” speaker. Please contact,
Danielle McKain, at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in attending.
♣ November 11th at 1:00pm is “Isabella’s 4th Celebrate Life Luncheon and Auction” at
J&L Grill, Pittsburgh. This celebration is in honor of Isabella, who passed away from
hypo plastic left heart syndrome in 2008. Jameson’s Army co-founders, Patrik and
Danielle McKain, will receive the Brave Heart Award for their dedication to CHD
awareness and the support they give. Please visit The Children’s Home website at,
www.childrenshomepgh.org, to find out how you can participate.
Over the last couple months our soldier has had his share of many
1st’s! Jameson took his first trip to the beach, Kennywood, Pirate
games, Carnivals and most importantly his first steps! The Summer
was supposed to start with Jameson’s 6th open heart surgery but due
to some 2nd opinions and clarifications the surgery was postponed.
Jameson spent the summer thriving with some minor setbacks due to
being immune suppressed. Jameson is getting PT, OT, Speech and
working with a specialist daily and even attending school at Your
Child’s Place every Tuesday. If there is one thing he enjoys most its
playing with other kids! Towards the end of summer we celebrated
Jameson’s heart birthday. It has been one whole year that Jameson
was given that gift of life through a brand new heart. We took time
once again to be thankful for the donor family and appreciate how
lucky we are. It was also a great time to send off big brother Colin to
As we entered Fall Jameson became ill for about 5 days. It was
learned that he had adenovirus, a respiratory virus. Because of its
severity Jameson’s surgery due for 9/7 was postponed. The good
news was Jameson was going to finally have that Birthday Party that
he has never experienced. So with the help of many friends and family
Jameson had a beautiful day at Cecil Park celebrating 2 years of life
inspired by the one and only Donald Duck! Following the celebration
we learned that Jameson’s body still had too much of the adenovirus in
his system and his next surgery date would also be postponed. I am
sure you can all imagine the exhaustion that comes along with
prepping yourself and your son for another open heart surgery and
then being told your child is not well enough for the surgery. As the
days go on it is apparent that Jameson needs this surgery and the
sooner the better, however, it’s better to be safe.
So for now we concentrate on our doctor appointments, therapies and
keeping Jameson healthy and growing. He will be retested for surgery
the 2nd week of October and a surgery date will then be scheduled.
Once again, thank you all for your prayers, thoughts and well wishes.
You all have no idea how much they work!
The Heart Picnic Goes Heart-To-Heart
The Turner Dairy family has hosted a picnic for congenital heart disease patients for
the past 32 years. During this event, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Heart
Institute along with the Turner family provide a variety of activities and food for
patients and their families. The event lets the parents interact with others who may
have had similar experiences. The picnic also gives the kids and an opportunity to
meet other children with heart problems and enjoy partaking in the events going on
during the picnic. Jameson’s Army created questionnaires for people to fill out and
help give us a better idea on how we can reach out and help those in need.
Participants who filled out the surveys were very helpful in adding information they
would like to see done by the organization in the future.
Jameson’s Army Happenings
♣ Jameson’s Army kicked off the month of July by participating in the annual
Canonsburg 4th of July parade. We wore our green and walked along the parade
route passing out information. We believe this event really helped get the word out
of who Jameson’s Army is and what we do. We were overwhelmed by how many
individuals asked about Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) and how they can find out
more about our organization. !
♣ We were present at the Valleybrook Golf Outing helping Your Child’s Place receive
donations. Your Child’s Place is a medically staffed daycare for children. Jameson
is able to attend this daycare and play with friends in the safety of medically trained
♣ There was a Banana Split party created for a baby named, Ryan. Soon after
another event was created in memory of him called, Red Balloons for Ryan, where
people from all over released a red balloon in his name.
♣ Jameson’s Army is proud to announce our partnership with The Children’s Home
and Lemieux Foundation. We plan on donating our time and efforts to help those
kids and families in need.
♣ Our monthly drop featured a “Christmas in July” theme as we provided the
patients at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Heart Center with ornaments,
cookies and the families with snacks.
♣ Jameson’s Army assisted Child’s Way on Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh, in
rearranging their current space to be more accommodating for their current
Jameson’s Army Newsletter
July through September 2012
Jameson’s Army Happenings
♣ Jameson’s Army proudly donated tickets to the families at the Children’s Hospital of
Pittsburgh Heart Center that included admission to Sandcastle, Kennywood and The
♣ A special tribute was held when Danielle went to the Children’s Home to celebrate the
2012 Loving Heart Award from the Children’s Heart Foundation. Danielle was honored
to be there and watch as one of Jameson’s former nurses, Erin Colvin (photo on left),
received The Loving Heart Award with heartfelt smiles. Danielle nominated Erin for her
outstanding work ethic and compassion.
♣ Patrik and Colin spoke at the CORE Wild Things Game telling Jameson’s story and
urging all to donate life!
♣ The Annual Richie Bearclaw Moore Memorial Bike Run took place in Dravosburg, PA. Jameson’s Army assisted
with this event held in honor of Richie Moore and in the end accepted a bighearted donation from them. Special
thanks to Emma Brown!
♣ Jameson Army proudly accepted donations from the Daniel McCroskey Memorial Golf Outing. All proceeds
benefited Jameson’s Army to help children fight congenital heart disease. It was held at the Bec-wood Hills Golf
Course. Special thanks to Marissa Dawes!
♣ We are proud to announce Jameson’s Army ordered more therapeutic cough pillows
for the patients on the Heart Unit at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, like Harley,
pictured to the left, who has undergone her 2nd surgery for hypoplastic left heart
syndrome. Cough pillows are designed to comfort a patient after surgery by bracing
their incision. Coughing is essential to keep the lungs clear and prevent pneumonia.
♣ At Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Jameson’s Army was present for the WDVE Rocks
fundraising event. Danielle told Jameson’s story and encouraged people to donate to
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She talked about how wonderful the care is and how
she always feels that her son is in the best hands possible during his hospital stays.
♣ Studio Fit sponsored another Zumbathon fundraiser on the streets of Canonsburg
during their Oktoberfest celebration. Special thanks to Kate Speer!
♣ Jameson’s Army co-sponsored an event with Mended Little Hearts of Pittsburgh and
The Children’s Heart Foundation of Pittsburgh featuring, Bill Coon. Bill Coon is presently
on his “All American Swim” tour. He was born with HLHS and is a two-time heart
transplant recipient and kidney transplant recipient who recently wrote a book called,
Swim. He is a motivational speaker who talked about how to survive and swim through
life during difficult times. It was an inspirational evening spreading CHD awareness.
♣ Danielle was honored to once again present Jameson’s story for The American Heart
Association. Danielle is frequently asked to share her and Jameson’s story with different
companies and organizations on behalf of The American Heart Association. Recently she
spoke at Nova Chemicals telling her heart story and the creation of Jameson’s Army to
recruit walkers for The American Heart Association Heart Walk.
Quarterly Star Super Trooper –
!We would like to announce our quarterly Star Trooper! Her name is Ashley
Harris and has gone above and beyond dedicating her time to Jameson’s
Army. We would like to send a special “thanks” to her for creating some of the
posters used in the Canonsburg 4th of July parade and her work on being a
lead person in putting together the Timber Run balloon release for Ryan to
name but a few. A few questions were asked of Ashley and this is how she
responded to them:
1) What is your motive to help with Jameson’s Army?
“I would like to maybe start with how I became involved in the first place. In
summer of 2011 I had noticed a group of kids selling Kool Aid but this was not
your average Kool Aid stand. These kids were selling ‘Kool Aid for a Cool Kid.’
I thought wow, what a selfless thing to do. They were not just trying to get
money for their own piggy banks, they were raising money for another little boy
in our neighborhood who needed a heart transplant. Not long after that day I
heard about this last minute event at Cecil Park that some of the families in the
neighborhood were trying to pull together. Kathy Helbling asked me if I would
like to help out the night of the event. The turn out for this last minute event
was outstanding! It was truly amazing to see so many people coming together
to support the McKain family and Jameson. I had the opportunity to officially
meet Jameson's mother, Danielle, that evening. We only spoke briefly but
knowing the little I knew about her I admired her positive attitude and her
strength. I had just had my second child two weeks before this night and I
could not imagine being in her shoes. As I learned more about Jameson and
more about his heart condition I became even more amazed at what a little
fighter he is. Next I was invited to help out at the Hot Dog and Kool Aid stand
event at Walgreens. My desire to be more involved grew with each event as I
am sure many of Jameson's Army can relate to.”
“My motive prior to the foundation being officially formed was to support a fellow neighbor. I tried to help when I could, I tried to attend anything
Jameson related and I tried to spread the word to get more supporters. Now that the Jameson's Army Foundation has been formed, I would like to help
fulfill their mission of increasing awareness of CHD and to provide support to other families at Children's Hospital.”
2) How do you see yourself helping with Jameson’s Army in your future?
“I see myself continuing to help in any way that I can. I know that I haven't known Jameson or the McKain family for very long but I am vested in seeing
their vision succeed. What Jameson's Army is doing, is much like the ‘Kool Aid for a Cool Kid,’ very selfless. I love where they've taken it and can't wait
to see the impact after years and years. As you will see from this newsletter, Jameson's Army has been quite the busy bees and they've only been at it
for a little over 8 months!”
3) How do you feel after you planned an event and see it as a success after? (Example: Timber Run Banana Split Party
and Red Balloon Release for Ryan.)
“I wouldn’t say I actually did much planning for these two events. I just put it out there on the ever-powerful Facebook and they came in droves. I was
proud of our neighborhood and how many came out to support these events with such short notice. The Ryan Roberts supporter threw these requests
out there and we just fulfilled their requests.”
4) What are some of the highlights do you feel Jameson’s Army has done for others thus far?
“For starters I know that the Monthly Drops at Children's Hospital have been greatly appreciated. Second, the Heart Pillows made and distributed from
the proceeds from the Kick-off Party. Third, the rallying of Jameson's Army to support other foundations and events like Build-a-Bears for Molly Dunn,
The Banana Split Party for Ryan and the Memorial Release of Red Balloon's for Ryan.”
Ashley concluded the interview with, “Jameson's Army is leaving their footprint everywhere they go.”
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