The Mortensen Family Fundraiser

Our Goal: $1000:raised $1206




At our routine 20 week ultrasound, the tech went quiet. She kept going back to the heart. She told us the doctor would be in to talk with us shortly. Forty agonizing minutes later, he entered, ashen faced, and told us our baby had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. He explained that it was very rare, very serious, and her chance of survival was very poor. Her lungs were being compressed, unable to grow. Her heart was displaced to the wrong side of her chest. She couldn't breath outside of me, he said. We grieved our baby girl that day, before she was born or even had a chance. I felt her kicking; each movement was a dagger into my heart. She was so perfect and so unaware of how dangerous it would be for her to enter our world. Thankfully we were made aware of CDH expert Dr. David Kays in Florida, and were able to seek the best care possible. We uprooted our family and moved, not knowing for how long or under what circumstances we'd return to our home. On the second night of her life, her oxygen levels suddenly plummeted. It was the hardest thing to face, watching our baby fight for her life. Thanks to the expertise of Dr. Kays and his methods of customized treatment, she pulled through that terrible, long, tearful night. Evelyn had her repair surgery on day 7 of her life, and only grew stronger from then on. I held Evelyn for the first time at 3 weeks old, full of IVs and wires. After 2 months of hospitalization, Evelyn was discharged. Today she is healthy, happy, and home.


Evelyn had a 25% chance to live. Our first ray of hope came when we found Tiny Hero. The founders, Steve and Annie, immediately embraced us in support and encouragement. Their son had been given very little hope and survived in spite of the odds. They gave us courage and peace to move forward and plan for Evelyn's arrival. They sponsored our flight to Florida for a consult with the best in CDH treatment. We knew it was the best thing for our baby to be delivered there. We relocated and Evelyn was delivered into the best possible hands, thanks to the support and aid of many moving pieces, especially the help of Tiny Hero. Tiny Hero focuses on educating and connecting CDH families, and financially making the impossible happen to save lives. They give hope to CDH families when there is none.



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