Mom to Mason, age 2 and Finn, age 1
Nominated by Lauren Richards:
Kelly Blumenthal is hands-down the most amazing and strongest mother I know. She is the mother of a sweet 27-month-old and a 13-month-old, “Finn” who was born with multiple complex health issues including CHD (Congenital Heart Disease – Defect). She has turned her hardship into a wonderfully positive mission to help others, raising thousands of dollars for UVA Children’s Hospital and the Charlottesville Ronald McDonald House, while maintaining a Facebook page, “Prayers for Finn,” documenting not only her journey, but those in similar situations. This page raises funds, awareness and emotional support for babies with CHD and their families. She has made life-changing relationships with other hospital families, spearheaded the donation of thousands of invaluable items for patients, inspired countless strangers with her strength, courage and faith, and introduced the world to a precious boy many pray for every day.
Q&A with Kelly
What’s the best parenting advice you’ve ever received?
The best parenting advice I have received is that silence is not always golden. If your children are quiet, it probably means they are up to something!
What advice would you give to new or expectant mothers?
Cherish every moment, even the tough ones that come along with parenting, because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Rock them a little longer, hug them a little tighter and laugh as much as possible.
How has motherhood changed your outlook on life?
It took a long time to realize everything really does happen for a reason, but it truly does. We experienced five years of infertility, including failed IVF, but in the end, we have two beautiful babies. Going through these challenges in addition to our youngest needing open heart surgery has definitely given me strength that I never knew I had, faith to get through the toughest of times and a true understanding of the moments in life that really matter.
How do you think your children would describe you?
I hope my children would describe me as brave, kind and happy.
Who is your role model?
My role models are other moms. I always learn something new from other moms and enjoy exchanging battle stories and magic moments with them. It’s an indescribable understanding that we all have among one another that creates a special bond.
What goals do you have for yourself?
I would like to spread awareness for Congenital Heart Disease and raise money for UVA Children’s Hospital in Charlottesville, VA, as well as their adjoining Ronald McDonald House.
What goals do you have for your children?
I just want them to be happy and kind to others. If they are happy and kind, then to me, I’ve done my job. Whatever their definition is of that happiness, I will always support them. Education is also very important to me. I would love to see them excel and graduate from a good Virginia college like William and Mary or UVA!