NORTHEAST WISCONSIN (WBAY) - Ava Trochinski looks like your average three-year-old, but she's fought some big battles in her young life.
Ava was born with a Congenital Heart Defect
"Her aorta was completely detached. So, they were able to keep her good for a week and then she had her repair at eight days old," says Danielle Trochinski, co-founder, Avastrong.
At that time, Ava also had a ventricular septal defect repaired. That's a hole in the wall that separates the lower chambers of the heart.
Ava's chest was left open so doctors could monitor it and relieve any pressure.
Ava has had 27 procedures and operations during her young life.
"She's an inspiration," says Joe Trochinski. "When I have bad days, I think of the bad days that she had and how my bad day doesn't come close to what she's had to go through."
Feb. 7-14 is Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week. One-in-100 babies is born with Congenital Heart Disease. Some will require surgery at some point in their lives.
"These kids, they are being flight for life, they are being taken to the operating room having these surgeries just to live to their next day," says Danielle.
Sometimes that comes with a lengthy hospital stay. That's why mom Danielle created Avastrong at the end of 2017.
"We decided to start this non profit, give back to these families. Just, I'm a mom on a mission," says Danielle.
One of the main missions of Avastrong is giving care packages to families in the cardiac ICU at Children's Wisconsin. The packages include water bottles, books and re-loadable gift cards.
"You're locked in a room for the most part inside. Most of the time you're not able to go and leave the unit and go outside, so we felt like having something we could give the families, something to do, a little bit of money to spend," says Joe Trochinski.
Avastrong raised $53,000 in 2019 for care packages and to help families in the cardiac ICU at Children's Wisconsin.
The charity has one big dream.
"It would be amazing if we could have the resources for families who are staying in the NICU who don't have to be transported to Milwaukee, to have a house that they can stay at and have the benefits of a Ronald McDonald House right here in the Valley," says Danielle.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Avastrong.