Every time Andy and Gina Abols visit Children’s Hospital Colorado, they leave with a renewed sense of hope and control over their future.
When Gina was 20 weeks pregnant, an ultrasound revealed that their daughter, Reese, had spina bifida, a birth defect in which the spinal cord doesn’t develop properly and can cause medical complications later in life.
“It was the worst day of our life,” Andy said.
The couple was referred to Children’s Colorado, where they have continued to go since Reese was born in April 2016. Her condition will require continued management, always bringing them back to Children’s Colorado.
Some days they arrive scared or anxious for an appointment, but they quickly feel relief upon entering the hospital.
“The place just radiates hope,” said Andy. “Every single time we have left thinking, ‘OK, we are right where we need to be and better-equipped for success than when we arrived,’” Gina added.
The family is hooked on the energy and optimism of the Children’s Colorado community, which brings them to the 2017 Courage Classic. They call the event more of a “family festival” than a bike tour. When they’re around other patients, families, doctors, nurses and community members, their path ahead with Reese’s condition feels a little clearer and a little brighter. The couple will ride and fundraise in Courage Classic on Team Primal to make sure other families with spina bifida can have the same support they’ve experienced.
“Being at Children’s Colorado and at Courage Classic reminds us that we’re never alone in this journey. And we are there for other families,” Gina said.