Natalie Day is our Fundraiser of the Month for March. Read on to find out why this time of year is special to Natalie and her family and learn all about the amazing fundraising that she has been doing for CHSF…

Our daughter Isabel had lifesaving open heart surgery five years ago. To mark the occasion, we decided to fundraise for Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

At four months old Isabel needed a full heart repair for Tetralogy of Fallot, Double Outlet Right Ventricle and Ventricular Septal Defect.

Isabel turned five in November 2018. Without surgery we wouldn’t have been able to celebrate this birthday.

Natalie’s daughter, Isabel

Last year I got in touch with CHSF to let them know I wanted to organise a raffle alongside Wear Red Day at Isabel’s School (Creswell Infant & Nursery).

I then started to approach local places to ask whether they would donate raffle prizes.

I had also asked my friend, Verity, at The Little Tea Rooms in Creswell if she would also support Wear Red Day. CHSF is also close to her heart as both her niece and godson have had heart surgery at Leeds.

Another friend of mine, Beth, offered a free photography session as a raffle prize. She also took photos of Isabel and shared them in blog post raising awareness of congenital heart disease in the local area.

Isabel turned five in November last year

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund has helped us at our hardest times. They gave us accommodation when Isabel needed surgery as we live over 50 miles away from Leeds.

From staying on the heart ward, it shows how much Children’s Heart Surgery Fund care for the ward and how much support they give.

CHSF don’t just fund vital equipment. They provide children with hospital television programmes at no charge. They give keepsakes after surgery. They fund the fish tank, used to distract children from the pain.

We have raised money by holding raffles, nights out, coffee mornings. Isabel’s dad, uncle & grandad cycled over 75 miles from Skegness back to our home.

We’ve attended CHSF’s annual Superhero Walk and Christmas Party for heart families. We volunteered at Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Isabel’s dad, Kev, was lucky enough to meet and chat to CHSF Ambassador Dickie Bird during an England test match!

We asked Natalie what advice she would give to future fundraisers…

Do something that will inspire or motivate you. Don’t worry if you only raise a small amount – every penny goes to supporting our children’s futures.

A big thank you for everything CHSF does to help the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit, and everything you do in supporting the families of the children affected by CHD. We are fortunate enough to have made friends for life. We look forward to supporting CHSF again!

Are you feeling inspired? If you think you or an organisation you are part of could raise money for CHSF get in touch with Lisa Williams on 0113 831 4810 for more info!