Bo and Melissa Johnston never could have imagined their little Audrey would only have 43 days to live. Audrey was diagnosed with trisomy 18 a fatal genetic disorder. The church, Spirit Garage, gave spiritual support back then. The Johnston's were also thankful, back then, that they were able to take Audrey home.
"The hospital was a very sterile environment and when we were at home it was much more comfortable and we could relax and be with Audrey," said Bo.
Ten days later they said goodbye.
For Bo and Melissa, one of the biggest challenges in the process of losing Audrey was feeling so alone.
"We didn't know anyone who had lost a child," said Melissa.
The idea of helping the first children's hospice come to the Midwest felt so right.
Besides the necessary medical attention, a children's hospice will feel more like a home and have therapists to help with emotional needs.
And this year for the very first time, proceeds from Nature Valley Bicycle Festival will help families like the Johnston's.
"It's huge. Children's Lighthouse of MN is working to build a hospice and respite home for children," said Volunteer Shauna Mahle.
Shauna is helping coordinate the volunteers, like the folks from Spirit Garage. As families watch the bikes race through cities and hang out at expos and buy T-shirts, those dollars will add up.
Shauna says, "Obviously the money is wonderful, but getting the message out there of what we're trying to do and help people become aware of the initiative is huge for us."
The festival last through Jun 17th.
Check out these websites for more information.