My, oh, my!! Yesterday was so full and so special at the Santa Barbara Heart Walk..it’s hard to absorb it all! We were blessed with another gorgeous day and a picturesque spot right along the beach to set up our Team Rudy tent. We had over 50 friends join us for the walk which was evident to all who saw the sea of Rudy blue balloons scattered throughout the route. We enjoyed sharing the day with friends from church and the SBRM, eight of Rudy’s little buddies, the Westmont College baseball team, nurses, dear friends from L.A., a handful of Livy’s Girl Scout sisters, school friends of Max’s, Wilson and the DPHS drum line, the DPHS cheerleaders and about 600 other Heart Walk participants! 🙂 Team Rudy was recognized as the Top Fundraising Team with a grand total of $8385.00…we are so proud of our team’s remarkable effort.
One of the many special highlights of the day was meeting a beautiful young couple – Jeni and Nick Busta. At the age of 25, Jeni is one of the oldest HLHS survivors and I was introduced to her story shortly after Rudy’s diagnosis over 4 years ago. I had heard of Jeni and her husband Nick a few times since Rudy was born but hadn’t had the opportunity to meet them until yesterday. They just happened to be visiting Santa Barbara for the day and came down to the Heart Walk event to cheer on a friend who was participating. Always on the lookout for CHD families, Jeni and Nick wandered over to the Team Rudy tent and I recognized Jeni the minute I saw her!! I can’t tell you what an encouragement it was for me to finally meet her – a true inspiration to countless kids and their families in the heart community. They even ended up walking part of the route with us and staying for Rudy’s birthday celebration! We will definitely be following up with the Bustas for a longer visit – I have soooooo many questions for them both.
Rudy tolerated the day well and even took a few steps of his own at the start of the walk! All in all it was a special day for our family and, we pray, a key effort in the battle against heart disease and congenital heart defects. Thank you dear friends both near and far for your outstanding show of support. Here’s a glimpse of our day. Go, Rudy, Go!
Happy 4th Birthday Eve Rudy!