“I was born in June 2002, and although small in size appeared perfectly healthy. At 3 days old, Dr. Dreyer and staff greeted my parents in the NICU with different news and plans. I was born with congenital heart disease known as Tetrology of Fallot, which is 4 different heart defects: VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect), Pulmonary Stenosis, Right ventricular hypertrophy and an overriding aorta. These defects could only be repaired with surgery. I spent my first 6 months of life trying to gain enough to be at my healthiest weight possible for surgery, and on December 20th, 2002 open heart surgery was performed and the repair was complete. I struggled with many basic skills and required a feeding tube and physical therapy for the first few years. Growing up I didn’t show many differences from other kids around me, but I was always significantly smaller in size and stature. Although I have another surgery in my future, I won’t let it hold me back from what God has planned for me and what my future holds.
I wasn’t really into contact sports, or really any sports as a kid. I tried multiple activities, but it wasn’t until fifth grade that I found my true love. We took a trip to the school agriculture barn and I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of FFA. Although it wasn’t a normal thing kids in my town do, my passion for agriculture was far too big to not make known. As a freshman in high school I joined the FFA and started raising goats and now a steer. It was the best decision I ever made. I began joining teams and making so many memories. My love for the FFA and the great outdoors kept growing and growing and now I get to share my love with my brother Wyatt. It is a family effort, we love doing things together. The FFA program has brought me closer to my family and friends, but more importantly “out of my shell” and I could not be more thankful.
The experience Hunt With Heart gave me was truly unforgettable. I am so grateful I was able share my love for the great outdoors at Beaver Creek Ranch with amazing people. The memories I made helped me realize that everything the other kids and I went through just helped us gain amazing opportunities. I will never forget the amazing trip I went on and I hope I am able to someday become a camp counselor as well. I love Hunt with Heart and everyone that is a part of it.”