Hope in Grace is a non-profit organization created in early 2010 following the death of our beloved daughter, Grace Lillian.
On April 1, 2008, we, Tony and Jaclyn Doffin, learned that we would soon be blessed with triplets! Just one week later we were told "Baby B" was not healthy. Gracie was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome before she was born. On Monday, September 8, 2008 Grace was born at 5:23am, just seconds after her brother Tyler and one minute before her sister Sophia. She weighed 3 pounds, 13 ounces and had a healthy cry. Grace's first 2.5 months of life were spent in the hospital undergoing countless procedures and her first open heart surgery until she was ready to come home just before Thanksgiving. We were fortunate enough to have her home with us off and on between surgeries and procedures until she passed away on the day she was scheduled for her third open heart surgery, just one day shy of her 10 month birthday. Grace was a beautiful baby girl whose eyes lit up when she smiled. She touched the hearts of everyone who met her. From the moment she was born we all knew there was something very special about her. She was an amazing gift. She taught us all about perseverance, patience, and being happy with what God has given you. We admire her courage, her strength and her ability to keep a smile on her face. We believe that Grace was given to us and taken from us for a reason. Establishing Hope in Grace has been a huge step toward finding meaning in such an unthinkable loss. It is our desire that Grace’s story will continue to have an impact on the lives of others, even after her death. We hope that Grace will never be forgotten. We are thankful for the life lessons she taught us, for the knowledge and expertise of the doctors and nurses who cared for her and for the sweet memories we have of Grace’s short life. It is our hope that this organization will help future children and their families find hope and joy in a long, healthy life after being diagnosed with congenital heart disease. It is for these reasons that we established this organization in her memory. Hope in Grace's goals include supporting pediatric cardiology research, promoting excellence in education in the field of neonatal and pediatric medical care and rewarding exceptional neonatal and pediatric medical care personnel. In the four years since Hope in Grace was established, we have reached toward these goals by raising $75,000 for pediatric cardiology research at the University of Minnesota and to reward pediatric intensive care nurses at Amplatz Children's Hospital.
The majority of the funds have been raised through the four annual events we have held since our organization was founded. Each April, Hope in Grace holds a family fun run with a silent auction at Lakeside Commons Park in Blaine, Minnesota. Our 5th Annual event is scheduled for April 26, 2014.
The first Grace Doffin Intensive Care Nursing Award Ceremony was held this past September on the day after that would have been Grace's 5th birthday. We were honored to present the award to Dani Wicklund, an exemplary CVICU nurse who continually demonstrates extraordinary compassion for her patients and their families as well as providing world-class clinical care to the precious children she works with.