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Leah finds hope and healing in the kitchen

“ When they know the community is supporting them, they have hope. ”


- Jomi, Leah's mom

“To see someone alongside you makes you feel like you can actually get through life.” said Jomi, Leah’s mom

Spend just a few minutes with Leah, and you’ll feel like you’ve known her forever. This soft-spoken 13 year old will light up as she tells you about her dreams and aspirations, her hobbies and her family.

Life for Leah hasn’t always been lighthearted. She was born with a life-threatening heart condition and faced her first of three open-heart surgeries at just one week old. She’s lived with seizures for most of her life due to a stroke she had at one month old, which is a risk for heart children.

“Leah’s treatment process has totally changed our life,” said her mom, Jomi. “Watching a child have to survive through so many heart surgeries and infections, just watching them struggle every single day of their life trying to live has been exhausting and traumatizing.”

Instead of carefree days playing and running, Leah has learned how to monitor herself and her surroundings—stress, exhaustion and fevers and all cause seizures.

But ask Leah about herself, and that’s the last thing she’ll bring up. Instead, she’ll regale you with stories from the kitchen: of favorite gadgets, of gourmet gastronomy and recipes galore.

That’s where you come in.

Leah’s wish is to have cooking lessons. She chose this for her wish because she knows it’s a skill she will be able to use for the rest of her life.

Plus, it’s just plain fun. And for a child with a life-threatening heart condition, fun is difficult to come by.

It's our goal to fund Leah's wish at or before Wishtoberfest, and we can't do it without your help. 

“Leah is very excited about life with her wish,” said Jomi. “She is excited knowing that every day she wakes up there’s significance, and a special gift that she can look forward to every day that gives her hope for her future.”

It's going to take kitchen gadgets, transportation, supplies and tuition to grant Leah's wish. Can you help?

Leah’s wish, “just brings tears to my eyes and it brought the stress level down,” said Jomi. “To see someone come alongside you makes you feel like you can actually get through life. When you see your child able to have something where they know the community is supporting them, they have hope to see beyond what they cannot change. That their life matters, they are cared about and it makes all the difference when facing their daily struggles and challenges.”

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