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Wednesday
Apr122017

Moms plan to 'egg' houses for Easter to raise money for babies with heart defects

Courtesy Janelle Cavanagh(PHOENIX) — A team of Easter “fairies” will be out in force in Arizona on Easter eve to “egg” houses for a good cause.

The fundraiser is organized by Summer Roger and Janelle Cavanagh, two moms who met at Phoenix Children’s Hospital as their newborn babies were recovering from heart surgeries.

Roger's daughter, June Roger, 5 months, and Cavanagh’s son, Killian Cavanagh, 7 months, were both born with congenital heart defects.

June, whose twin sister, Nora, was born without heart complications, underwent her first heart surgery two weeks after birth and was hospitalized for the first 41 days of her life. She is scheduled to undergo a second heart surgery on April 26 to help repair hypoplastic right heart syndrome, a rare heart defect, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Killian has already undergone two surgeries to repair his aortic valve and is scheduled to undergo a third, more complicated procedure next month in Stanford, California, according to his mom.

"The most dreadful thing is when you're waiting and waiting," Cavanagh said of the expected multi-hour procedure. "If it doesn’t go well, he would have to possibly have a lung transplant because of the location of where the surgery is being done."

With the two surgeries on the horizon, Roger and Cavanagh, who stayed in touch in what they call the “heart moms club,” decided to execute a fundraiser idea to help other busy moms prepare for Easter.

The two moms, who have 10 children between them, are compiling Easter baskets that will be filled with plastic eggs stuffed with treats. Easter “fairies” — the women’s families, friends and volunteers — will then deliver the baskets to people’s homes late on Easter eve so the eggs are outside people's doors on Easter morning.

Roger and Cavanagh sold packages of $25 for 40 eggs, $50 for 100 eggs and $100 for 200 eggs and $5 special golden eggs with bigger treats inside.

“We’ll scatter the eggs in the front yard or we can put them in a basket by the front door,” Cavanagh told ABC News. “I’m getting big bags of mini-carrots too and will leave a trail on the walkway.”

So far the women have taken orders for around 4,000 eggs to be delivered to nearly 100 homes.

“We’ve gotten such a positive response that it renews your sense of hope,” said Roger. “I thought I was going to get like five houses and drive around myself in my minivan.”

The two families, who live about one hour apart, plan to use the money they each raise to help defray the medical costs that come with having babies born with congenital heart defects.

They’ll also use the extra funds to pay for travel to and from the hospital during their babies’ expected weeks-long stays, particularly Cavanagh who will have to travel out of state.

“As stressful as this week is I know it will decrease my stress when I’m there because this will help cover a hotel room, parking at the hospital, flights for my husband,” she said. “I can focus on Killian and not worry about how is this going to get paid or how are we going to handle that.”

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