Four years ago today, Joseph Scott Middlemiss joined the heavens after complications from cardiomegaly. Literally, his heart was too big for this world. That was Joey. If you spend time on their page you'll see he was a spirited boy who loved music, superheroes, and most of all his family, especially his baby brother Jack who was newly born. Joey's parents, Scott and Kate, started the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation to celebrate his memory and continue his legacy of love and kindness. Their motto is "All You Need is Love" (which ironically is my favorite Beatles song and the song we were introduced to at our wedding.)
Their mission strives to:
1) Foster the spread of Random Acts of Kindness
2) Support local schools, installing "Buddy Benches" and providing scholarships for music and martial arts
3) To contribute to research for childhood heart conditions while providing financial, social, and emotional assistance to families at Boston Children's Hospital Cardiac Unit including awesome pizza parties every month and care packages for the patients.
Kate and Scott are superheroes in their own right. Kate was just interviewed as one of Boston's most "Exceptional Women" here. Scott has run the Boston Marathon 3x in honor of Joey, famously crossing the finish line with his son Jack. I could write forever on why, for me, they are marriage/parent "goals". They have also since welcomed a healthy baby girl named Grace. To say I admire them as parents and advocates is an understatement. Additionally, my mom worked with Kate at Thomson Elementary school during the time of Joey's passing. This foundation has been near and dear to our hearts these past 4 years on a personal level.
A year ago we participated in Joey's annual Superhero Rock N Roll 5k. Benjamin crossed the finish in Superman style in his gait trainer. Today, since I am working at the hospital, he will cross with my parents on his own 2 feet. The image of Ben heading towards the "Finish" is framed on my nightstand as a reminder of where we've been and that we have MANY more Finish lines to cross.
Benjamin was born significant pulmonary hypertension, requiring oyxgen for 3 months at birth. His pulmonary hypertension has since resolved. He was also born with progressive dilation of his Aorta, which is stably "moderate" for now and I pray we stay in that camp. We routinely monitor at Children's with ECHO ultrasounds in the same clinic where Joey was a patient.
I definitely need to get back to my work shift. Saturday mornings were made to let our patients sleep in a little right? ;) Today, I think of all the families at the race who will be celebrating the life of Joseph. To everyone at the race today, as Joey would say, "have the best day ever!"