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About Us

HI. I AM KELSEY.



In the summer of 1997, a chance meeting while doing a High School Freshman orientation lead me the man who would eventually become my husband.
A few years later… In 2004 we took the plunge and got married.
TEN YEARS later we have created a whole life which includes our two very brilliant, beautiful and headstrong children!
One of our children, Mason was born with a broken heart and the other is heart healthy.
Both are equally perfect and beautiful.

As you read my blog you must know that I LOVE a few very IMPORTANT THINGS!


I LOVE writing.
They help me express my feelings, they helped me during my largest trial and I believe words can inspire change and provide HOPE.
WORDS are important! 


I LOVE people.

I LOVE home.
Not the physical house (even though I do love it) but that space that I occupy with the people I love the most. MY FAMILY!

I LOVE Jesus.
YES. I am that girl.

I LOVE the heart community.

This community motivates me to be more and do more. I think about the families who have been affected by a CHD all the time. I can’t get them out of my mind. Whether we have met or not please know I pray for you often!

I LOVE LULAROE
Who doesn't love good clothes?!?!?!?
Seriously you should check it out HERE

These clothes are amazing and the best part is the team I have the pleasure of being a apart of!

I LOVE giving back.
I whole heartily belief that you are blessed to be a blessing. We have made it our family mission to give back in small and large ways.

Enough about me.
MEET OUR KIDS!!!!
After all I will spend most of my time bragging about them!


Mason Garka.


June 2012

I have spent a lifetime willing Mason to survive, a million seconds holding him in the hospital, and thousands of hours staring endlessly at his face. His face is almost more familiar to me than my own.

He is perfectly broken.
All the time people say “if you didn't know what he has been through you could never tell”. That is the blessing and the curse of heart disease.
Now if you took a second and genuinely observed my child shirtless. You would observe 5 puncture wounds (from his chest tubes), the “zipper” on his sternum from his three open heart surgeries, you could feel his protruding sternum and you would see the numerous marks littering his neck, groin and arms from his IV lines keeping him alive.

2013

I don’t write this for you to think our life is awful or to feel bad for us. Our life is WONDERFUL but we will never get past the terrifying parts. They have become a huge part of our lives and shaped our future giving us accidental purpose.
I will never hide Mason’s heart defect and I would NEVER be ashamed of it.
Mason’s beautiful heart has given me a platform. I am involved with charities and I speak out. I don’t care if I make the public uncomfortable with our everyday life. I prefer the discomfort to any pity or shame.
I have a choice I will either make strangers uncomfortable or Mason will learn to be uncomfortable. I choose strangers. For them, the discomfort will be short lived. For Mason it is the rest of his life.

This blog was created for Mason. It has evolved the way we are as a family.
I hope someday my children enjoy this virtual space as much as I have enjoyed created it.



August 2014



Kendall Grace.

She is the fourth corner to our square. Without her we are incomplete.
But the reality is Kendall has not almost died, she has no visible scars, she is healthy, pink and full of life.

As she grows there is sure to be the normal “girl” dramas but none will compare to the drama that Mason has faced in his life.
All of this said that doesn’t mean that we don’t love her and it doesn’t mean that we love one child more than the other… Nothing upsets me more than this notion.

With that said... Let me fully introduce you to our little girl, Kendall Grace.

August 2014


She has the opposite temperament of Mason. She is not even a year old and we can already tell she is full of life, she will challenge us, she does not sit still, she will more than likely be the athlete in the family and she LOVES her brother.

Kendall was born second and she was born into a heart family.
Who’s to say it is better to be born into a heart family or to have your “normal” world turned upside down by turning into a heart family?  I am personally thankful she will not have to watch her brother endure surgery after surgery and I am thankful that I only had to hide tears from one child not two.

I feel like I am always trying to consume and take her in before she is all grown up.
She has given me the gift of having a healthy child… but even that is different. I have been too close to every parent’s nightmare and in the shadow of my fears it is different.

I am a sibling and I can not imagine life with out my sister. My greatest fear for Kendall is that she will lose her other half to heart disease. Then YEARS from now when Greg and I are gone she will be left alone.
Even at 10 months old, Mason is a HUGE part of her life.





For years I was preoccupied with how the loss of Mason would impact our life (mine and Greg’s).  Would our marriage survive and how would we move on??? But, now I am consumed with how it would impact Kendall’s life. Now the burden of anticipatory grief has almost doubled to include my worry for Kendall who I would not lose. This is twice as overwhelming.
I know a lot of families living with anticipatory grief. So how do I rise above the challenge? That is still something I struggle to figure out fully. But every morning I face this fear. I face it because I love my family too much to fail them!





Thank you for taking some time to get to know us!



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