There are so many valuable life lessons I have learned in my 8.5 years as a mother. Not only have I learned more than I ever imagined, I believe the discoveries are unique to each mother. For instance, I have realized and been touched by various events that may not impact some mothers as they do for others. This is what I believe to be a special component of motherhood.
On a side note, if I had known what I may have experienced when becoming a parent prior to motherhood, I may not have ever become a mother! My life as a mother has been very eventful; both full of joys and many hardships – some of which many mothers never experience. However, some of these difficult times, such as the diagnosis and journey with our son’s complex heart condition have made me a better and stronger mother and person. I have since realized more so now than ever, what is important in life – what is needed and what can be lived without. Less is truly more.
Motherhood, has blessed me in more ways than I could ever describe. While the times have not always been good; they have led to where I am today and I am proud to have two loving, caring, courageous, and energetic boys who remind me what life is all about.
Below are the bios of each amazing mom that participated in this project.
Jen is a mom to two angels and one rainbow baby. She loves spending time with her daughter, husband and two dogs. Volunteering has become a great passion for her since losing her first two children. To her it is a way to keep them with her.
Tori Smith is a mom and an advocate. She believes everyone has a story and when we share those stories, we begin to heal and become stronger.
Carol Raimondi is an adult CHD patient, a mom and a former nurse, living with Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries. She currently is the President of Pediatric Congenital Heart Association of IL(PCHA-IL).
Susan Swanson DeBouver
Susan is a mom, grandmother, and busy owner of Pilates Plus of Schaumburg. She is a self-professed, spirit junkie and combines her fitness/anatomy education with her spiritual education.
Michelle Williams is the mother of three children: Sadie, Sawyer and Landon. After Sawyer's death in 2010 she formed Sawyer's Heart Project - a non-profit organization that supports bereaved families in the Chicagoland area.
Sarah has a passion for the non-profit sector, working with volunteers, writing, and educating. She holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and works in non-profit management.
In 2016, she partnered with two colleagues to form a non-profit, where she serves as the President and CEO of the organization, which helps families experiencing medical conditions.
She and her husband have two sons and enjoy spending time together outside doing many activities like riding horses, running, fishing, and gardening.