Hearts for Heart Warrior

Sometimes we get to do things that touch other people in a way that lasts a lifetime.  We all love that feeling, isn’t that one of the many rewards of being a teacher?  Recently, Natalie Kay shared her experience with some of us, her fellow Teacher Pay Teacher collaborators.  By the end of the story, this is what she put together.  Hearts for a Heart Warrior.  This is her story, her words, her friend.  However, this story is about everyone’s friend, everyone’s neighbor, everyone’s baby.  As you read along, think not only of this sweet family, but will you please also think about the families struggling with similar issues right now?  Pray for those who are in a hard place.  Be thankful, be loving with your words and intentional about your actions.  As a dear police friend told me once, ok SEVERAL TIMES, “you never know when you are going to be that someone else“.  Think about it as you read Natalie’s words. ~~Valerie I have something really special to announce! Starting today, What the Teacher Wants is hosting a fundraiser for a very deserving local family here in Utah. Some of the biggest names in the TPT clip art world have all come together to help raise money for a sweet little “Heart Warrior” named Ryder. 

Ryder’s mom, Jessie, and I used to teach together at my old school. We worked together for 6 years before she and I both changed schools and began teaching in different places. She is one of my dearest friends and I loved every second of working with her. She is full of life, hilarious, and one of the best teachers you’ll ever meet. Fast forward a little bit, and I have a heartbreaking story to tell you about my friend Jessie. After going through a relatively easy pregnancy with her 4th child, Little Ryder Cannon was born on December 2nd, 2014 and was diagnosed with a Congenital Heart Defect. He spent over 180 days in the ICU while doctors tried everything they could to fix his heart. 

During his life, he underwent three open heart surgeries, one of which was an experimental surgery to replace his heart valve; he was the first baby at Primary Children’s Hospital to ever have it done. That surgery was a success and earned him the nickname of “Heart Warrior.” However, the doctors were never able to completely fix his broken heart. Ryder spent 30 days on the heart transplant list, but unfortunately the new heart never came.  Little Ryder passed away in August of 2014 at only 8 and a half month old.

{Photography by: Crystal Spencer Photography} During his short time in the world, Ryder blessed the lives of many. This little Heart Warrior leaves behind a mom, dad, two sisters and a brother who miss him every single day. The financial burden of it all leaves a huge stress on the family. The medical bills are still coming in and Little Ryder still needs a headstone for his grave. {To read more of Ryder’s story, click here.}

{Photography by: Michelle Ashworth Photography}
For this reason, I have put together a fundraiser on Ryder’s behalf.  All donations collected through this “Hearts for a Heart Warrior” fundraiserwill go to help the Cannon family with Ryder’s medical bills and will also help purchase a headstone for Ryder’s grave. For your $25 donation, you will receive “The Ultimate Valentine’s Day HEART and LOVE Inspired Graphics Mega Bundle” There areover 300 graphicsincluded in this amazing pack!

(These are both exclusive graphic sets and are not available anywhere else. These are custom designed for this special fundraiser!) Melonheadz: Exclusive Heart Warrior BundleCreative Clips: Exclusive Heart Warrior Bundle

From the Pond:Stick Kids – Grab a HeartLita Lita:Valentine Write in Clip ArtTeaching in the TongassValentine’s Pack

Ashley Hughes:777 Valentine BundleWhimsy Workshop:Valentine MEGA BundleTessa’s Designs:Valentine’s Day Mini-Set

Mrs. Joy Hall:Valentine’s Day Digital Papers Teacher’s Toolkit:Valentine’s Day Digital PapersAshley Hughes:Valentine’s Day 12×12 Digital Papers 

Creative ClassroomValentine’s Day PrintablesGeorgia Grown:Heart Subway ArtNatalie Kay:Valentine’s Day Pennant Banner

This fundraiser starts right now and will run until Valentine’s Day. I know that Ryder’s family will be very appreciative for any and all donations they receive! Thank you!! Also, a giant thank you to all who donated products to this fundraiser. Please check out each of these awesome blogs!

Also, thank you to my sweet teacher friends, Christie & Crystal, for their help!


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Hi! I’m Valerie!

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