Sunday, October 05, 2008

Our Valerie

Dear Carrie's Heart Family,

Before I travel to Mexico this afternoon, it is with overwhelming grief and sadness that I am writing to let you all know that our little angel, Valerie, has fulfilled her purpose on this earth and has now been released. I received news this morning from Cozumel that Valerie passed during the night. Her memorial service is tonight and I'll return on Wednesday. I can have peace knowing that when we were last with Valerie a few weeks ago she was filled with joy, laughter and light. This was because of each one of us who touched this precious child's life over the past few years. I will miss her smile and laughter but we will continue her work here in her memory and her name.

Many have already asked what they can do to honor and celebrate Valerie's life. We will be accepting donations to the Valerie project in Valerie's name to continue our work. Thank you to each of you.

The following links will help you remember what a remarkable life Valerie lived and the legacy she leaves behind:
This link is the homepage of the "Valerie Project" where you can see all of the children Carrie's Heart supports through this project.
This link will take you to Valerie's personal page.
This link will take you to our Carrie's Heart Flickr page that documents Valerie's life.
This link will take you to the Carrie's Heart donation page where you can make a donation in honor of Valerie's life. You may choose to make a donation on-line using Paypal or send a check.

Please forward this e-mail to anyone else in your life who might have had contact with Valerie, but is not on our Carrie's Heart e-mail list.


Here are words from a Carrie's Heart board member, Paige Whitten...

As tears stream down my face I feel a desperate need to share with you, our Carrie's Heart Family, my broken heart. Even though we only knew Valerie for a few years, she left a permanent imprint on every heart with which she came in contact. She communicated with all of us through her gorgeous brown eyes & infectious laugh. When we found Valerie at 8 years old, weighing only 13 lbs, we knew she needed us and in many ways we needed her. Her desperate need caused Carrie, and the Carrie's Heart family, to seek out other children with severe disabilities in the Yucatan region, thus creating "The Valerie Project." Her life helped save so many others & will continue to live on through the lives of the children in our Carrie's Heart family.

I'm grateful for the little time I got to be with Valerie because she taught me more about loving people... loving them unconditionally, looking for the good in others, and accepting them for who they are. Her life also reminds me of my own calling ... to help children with disabilities live their lives to the fullest.

I try to smile through my tears knowing our angel, Valerie, is dancing somewhere in heaven, eating ice cream (2 things her body wouldn't allow her to do here on earth) and being loved on by all the other angels, but the selfish part of me wishes I could've witnessed it here on Earth, as we had so much more progress to make with her. Just as I have hopes & dreams for my own daughter with a disability, I had those for Valerie.

All my love & tears today,
Paige (Mommy of Anna)

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