Heart of Gold

Yellow Brick Road was founded to honor Holden “The Tin Man” Flynn, who was diagnosed with congenital heart disease (CHD) in utero. He entered this world on October 11, 2011, and by December of 2012, he required four operations to repair his broken heart. On January 5, 2014 Holden passed after a long, valiant fight while awaiting a heart transplant.

While nothing prepares a parent for this battle, throughout the fight we were taken under the wing of a quiet, close-knit network of parents and families waging their own war with this dreaded disease. They, more than anyone, know what it is going to take to turn the odds in favor of every child afflicted with CHD. It’s a disease that affects about 1 in 100 children, yet hides in the shadows of the public consciousness when compared to other pediatric ailments.

Even as we were comforting one another, we vowed to continue to fight the good fight in order to support research, raise awareness and, most importantly, offer assistance to the families of CHD children.

Since officially opening in July, we’ve made strides in the community by providing assistance for families of hospitalized children and serving barista-style coffee and pastries for all patients, families, and staff at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children on Christmas Day. Our biggest accomplishment came on December 16, when we donated our first hospital IV-friendly wagon to the Pediatric Cardiac ICU at Arnold Palmer Hospital, in recognition of one of Holden’s favorite hospital activities.

February is Heart Defect Awareness Month. While the foundation is young, we look to grow in 2015. We plan to do this by helping the community to better understand CHD and pediatric heart donation, allowing children like Holden to continue to thrive and bring us a new generation of superstars who have beaten odds that once seemed so steep.

How You Can Help:

1. Donate to help support families and awareness.
2. Follow us on social media (found at ybrf.org).
3. Help spread the word during CHD Awareness Week February 7-14 using #YBRF4CHD or #CHDAWARE.


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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