Baby Willow Marie Marka doesn’t turn 1 month old until Sunday, yet she’s already dealt with open heart surgery, plus a collapsed lung, pneumonia and sepsis.
She also faces at least two more open heart surgeries in the next few years to help her survive hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a life-threatening congenital heart condition — one that, ultimately, still may require a heart transplant.
HLHS left the left ventricle of Willow’s heart severely underdeveloped. Willow’s parents, Cassie (Knopp) and Bill Marka of Grand Forks, remain with her in Rochester, Minn., where Willow was born at the Mayo Clinic complex.
Meanwhile, the countdown continues to a Willow Marka family benefit Sat., Oct. 19, at the East Grand Forks (Minn.) American Legion club building, 1009 Central Ave. N.W.
The benefit features includes a loaded baked potato feed, silent auction and bake sale. plus a special raffle.
The event is headed by Team Willow and includes charitable nonprofit NDAD as both a fundraiser sponsor and the caretaker of benefit funds – all of which will help pay for the Marka family’s medical and related expenses.
The Oct. 19 benefit starts at 3 p.m. with a silent auction and bake sale, both which will end at 8 p.m.
The public is invited to attend. Yet, whether or not you can make it, your assistance in others ways is welcome:
• Go online at http://www.NDAD.org/fundraisers.asp and click the “Give Online” button that accompanies an introductory article about Willow Marka. Use your credit card to donate to the Willow Marka Fund.
• Mail your donation to: NDAD, c/o Willow Marka Fundraiser, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201. Please make checks payable to: NDAD / Willow Marka family.
• Drop off your donation in person at NDAD’s Grand Forks office or its offices in Fargo, Minot, or Williston. You can find the addresses and phone numbers at the NDAD.org website.
• Call (701) 740-6968 if you have other questions about the benefit, or if you wish to learn how you can contribute to a silent auction.
Learn more about the free NDAD’s Community Fundraiser program, including how it is helping the Marka family and how it may be used to help you help another person who is dealing with a disability or serious health challenge. Call (800) 532-NDAD (-6323).
Special Willow Happy Heart T-shirts also are for sale, with all proceeds going to help Willow and her parents. Learn more at http://www.facebook.com/willowshappyheartteam#1/
- – - – -
Another way you can help: Share this post on your Facebook page with others. Or tweet this link.