Their son "Tiny" would have been 3 this year.
Born in Northern California in June 2011, Tiny had the first of three planned surgeries to correct hypoplastic left heart syndrome 10 days after birth, and was treated afterward in the UC Davis Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit/Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.
But despite the best efforts of his physicians, chief among them Associate Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics Gary Raff, in December of 2011 Tiny lost his struggle to survive.
To honor his memory and the care that he received at UC Davis Children's Hospital, Rick Keiser, his family and supporters of the race visited the UC Davis Pediatric Intensive Care Unit/Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit last month on Tiny's birthday to present a check for $3,500, five Nintendo 2DS's and games. They also brought balloons and his daughter Ellie's handmade bracelets for patients and siblings, as well as a cake for staff.
Proceeds were raised through tinySmiles, a half marathon/5k non-profit run, started by Rick and his wife, Jean, that raises awareness about congenital heart disease.
Nearly 300 runners braved the wind and rain on Feb. 8 to finish the second annual tinySmiles race. The third annual tinySmiles race is already in the planning stages and will be held on Feb. 7, 2015 at the Galt Fairgrounds in Galt.
"We hope this is just the beginning of what we can do to help pay back and, in a small way, bless the Children's Hospital. There is no better place to be if you have a sick child," said Rick Keiser.