At the end of May, 6-year old, Trey Richards was taken to the doctor because he wasn’t feeling well and his mom and dad knew something wasn’t quite right. The doctor heard something strange when checking his heart and rushed him up to Primary Children’s Hospital. It turned out to be an enlarged heart and the official diagnosis is a rare disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy. There is no cure for this disease and the only option for this young boy is to have a heart transplant. He has had multiple surgeries and procedures and is now surviving because of not one, but two mechanical devices called the Berlin Heart. These artificial hearts are pumping his blood and keeping him alive until the moment they get the notification that there is a heart available to become his own, which means he will be living in Primary Children’s Hospital until this happens. Day in and day out these parents fight for the life of their son. Some days are good and they get to take him out to enjoy some sunshine outside of the hospital walls, and some days are filled with the terror that something is terribly wrong and their precious boy is whisked away for an emergency surgery. Every day they are thanking God that he is still here continuing the fight while waiting patiently for the call that their son will be receiving the gift of a new heart.
On July 30th Chalese had the idea to have her Rainy Days Foundation throw a fundraising event for the Richards. In less then a month, she worked countless hours with her partner in crime, Laura Spencer to get all the details hashed out. Together they were able to fill 42 seats at Painting With A Twist in Murray, get the event catered and receive 25 items donation for the raffle drawing. Both parents were able to be present at the event and were able to witness the enormous amount of support from complete strangers for their sweet Trey. The event happened to take place on day 101 that he has been hospitalized and it was a huge success. At the end of the evening, Rainy Days Foundation was able to present Charlotte and Jason Richards a check for $1400! Rainy Days Foundation is still selling #treystrong t shirts they made to continue giving donations moving forward as well.
The Richards are overwhelmed with gratitude seeing all the support, prayers, hope and love they have from family, friends and the community. There is no well wish or moment that is taken for granted. They truly believe it’s what has gotten them this far and hope that it will continue through the rest of their sweet Trey’s battle. Rainy Days Foundation is so thankful that this event was such a success and not merely because of the incredible about of money they raised that night, but because Chalese believes with all her heart that what happens when you bring people together for hope, love and support what happens is you manifests miracles and that is truly what she sets out to do with Rainy Days Foundation.
30 days later…
Trey received his heart! He was able to be discharged from the hospital two weeks later and is now at home. He still has a long road ahead of him, but his body is accepting the transplant and he is doing well! I am so honored to have been a part of this story.
For Rainy Days donations: