The Dondero Family Fundraiser

Our Goal: $1000:raised $1675




December 14, 2017 was supposed to be an exciting day. It was my level 2 ultrasound looking at everything about baby Avery. During the appointment, the doctor walked in with tissues and said, “Please look at the screen. Your baby’s stomach is in her chest next to her heart.” My heart sank. I had two previous miscarriages and couldn't handle losing another baby. The doctor said she had CDH (congenital diaphragmatic hernia). I had never heard of it. I just knew it was not good and I needed to go to a specialty hospital. I went crazy doing research and found a surgeon with a 95% success rate, but he was in Florida. I cried every time I watched a video with him in it. I knew he had to be my surgeon but I didn't know how we could relocate financially. Tiny Hero helped me make our journey possible. Our journey began May 1st. Avery was born via C Section. They took her from me and when I saw her she was covered in wires and tubes. I couldn't hold her and CDH stole that moment. I didn't feel like I had a baby. She went on ECMO at 5 days old and had her repair at 6 days old. We thought her case was moderate, but in fact it was severe. She was missing 95 percent of her diaphragm on the left side. Her stomach, intestines, bowels, and 45 percent of her liver were in her chest. Every day was a rollercoaster. We shed tears and had breakdowns. She was ventilated for 35 days. Day 35 was the best day because I finally got to hold my baby. After 84 days of worry we were finally discharged.



Tiny Hero helped us make our journey possible to meet Dr. Kays. They paid for our flights from NY to FL for a consult and once again for our stressful journey to begin. If it was not for them, our journey might have turned out very different. I have a beautiful thriving baby girl now. You can help them help other families like ours have the choice to go to the best surgeon and save their child's life. If it was not for we might not have had a great outcome for survival, as the statistics are 50% nationwide. I am forever grateful for them and Dr. David Kays.


You can also support our family by purchasing this exclusive Hope for the Holidays item. All proceeds from the sales go towards Tiny Hero. Tiny Hero is a 501(c)(3) organization built to help support families with CDH children.

What is CDH?

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) occurs in an unborn baby when there is a hole in, or incomplete formation of, the diaphragm (the muscle under the lungs that is responsible for breathing).

CDH affects about one in every 2,500 babies (1600 cases in the U.S. each year), and occurs as often as cystic fibrosis and spina bifida, yet most have never heard of it. On average, only 50% of these babies survive. Learn more about what is CDH→

Where does my donation go?

  1. Family Grants - We help families get to very best possible care and provide financial aid when needed.

  2. Community Support - We create videos, update our blog and website, and produce printed materials to help expand our message of hope to a larger audience. 

  3. Inspiring Better Care - We partnered with the Fore Hadley Foundation to help fund productive research efforts across the country.

Jacob Dunford