Melissa Hooper – Melissa has been a wife to Jim for 18 years & a mom to 4 wonderful children—ages 17 down to 7.  She became a heart mom in June 2005 when her 3rd son, Dylan, was born.  Dylan endured 3 open heart surgeries, a cardiac arrest, and many other procedures & hospitalizations.  After fighting CHD’s for 3 years, Dylan earned his angel wings on June 30, 2008.  Melissa has worked as a stylist at Shear Style Inc. in Ankeny for 18 years.  She lives in her hometown of Bondurant and Jim currently works for the National Guard.
melissa@help-a-heart.org
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Emily Graber – Emily lives in Prairie City with Darin, her husband of 15 years, & her 5 amazing children—one of whom she is blessed to call her heart hero, Gabe.  Her kids range in age from 13 down to 2 so she is constantly running them around to their activities & appointments.  Emily is a CPA & currently works part-time at the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church as their Senior Staff Accountant.  Darin works as a Regional Leader for Primerica Financial Services.  Her passion for Help-A-Heart obviously came from her own personal experience & she is so lucky that this organization has allowed her & Melissa to pay it forward & ease some of the financial burdens that an extended hospitalization can bring on a family.  Her favorite part of Help-A-Heart is all of the wonderful heart moms that she is now fortunate to call friends & the bonds that have formed through support group.
emily@help-a-heart.org
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Wendy Meyer – Wendy first met Melissa & Emily when her daughter, Makenzie, was born in 2005. Help-A-Heart provided a meal to her family during Mak’s open heart surgery & Wendy has wanted to repay that debt ever since! Wendy founded Help-A-Heart Support Group in 2010. She lives in Waukee with her husband, Derek, of 16 years & her 3 beautiful children—ages 13 to 8.  Her passion for the support group is to create a safe place for families of children with congenital heart defects to share their stories, connect with families, and get emotional support. Wendy’s favorite part about the organization is seeing all the families that have been blessed emotionally, financially, and all of the strong friendships that have formed from this amazing group!
wendy@help-a-heart.org
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