Family Raises $1,700 for Dr. Samir Chandra Family Endowment
by Adam Amdor
The Halemeyer family presented a check to Dr. Samir Chandra on March 20, 2018. Also pictured at right is Joe Surma, Coordinator of Annual and Planned Gifts for the Covenant Foundation.
Kelsey Halemeyer wasn't familiar with congenital heart defects when she learned her son would be born with complex problems. Now her son Carter is nine months old, and he's playful and smiling as the family prepares to head in for their bi-weekly check up with pediatric cardiologist Dr. Samir Chandra at Covenant Clinic in Waterloo.
"Dr. Chandra has been just absolutely wonderful about taking care of Carter," Kelsey says, noting a time Dr. Chandra stayed with their family at the hospital until late into the evening after Carter needed to stay at Covenant Medical Center due to a complication. "We wanted to give back because we understand Dr. Chandra is the only pediatric cardiologist in the area. He does a lot for these cardiac kids," she says.
That's why Kelsey decided to make bracelets to raise money for the Dr. Samir Chandra Family Endowment, while also teaching people about congenital heart defects at the same time. "It's not anything I knew about prior to Carter and it's actually the number one birth defect we experience in the United States." The bracelets say "1 in 100" – signifying that 1 in 100 babies are born with a congenital heart defect.
Kelsey's goal was to raise $1,000 for the endowment. Requesting only a free-will donation in return for a bracelet, she ended up exceeding her goal, raising $1,700. The Halemeyer family presented the check to Dr. Chandra on Tuesday, March 20.
"It's an amazing gift," reflected Dr. Chandra. "The Covenant Foundation helped me create this endowment so it is able to help with Covenant Clinic Pediatric needs it may have now and into the future. I'm humbled and honored to know the Halemeyer family wants to make a difference in the lives of other children for years to come."