One Year with a New Heart

February is a time for love, and here at viens avec moi, it is a time that is very close to our hearts.

Last year we started a tradition of sharing the love during Heart Month for our dear friend Anne-Marie and her charity of choice – The University of Ottawa Heart Institute .

Thank you to each and every one of you who came out to our shopping event, Shop with Your Heart a few weeks ago. It was a huge success and your support and Paper Heart purchases throughout the month of February will make a difference in the lives of those whose hearts need a little TLC.

We wanted to share with you Anne-Marie’s progress since receiving a heart transplant in October 2014.

Mon dieu, has she been busy! In between checkups, blood work and heart biopsies at the Heart Institute, Anne-Marie is learning to live with a heart that is as full of life as she is!

Anne-Marie in Toronto volunteering for the Canadian Transplant Games

That means completing cardiac rehabilitation and putting her new heart to work with walking, exercise and dancing, of course. 😉

She is currently completing a professional development course to prep for her return to teaching next school year. In addition, Anne-Marie has been giving back by volunteering at the Canadian Transplant Games in Toronto, as well as with the Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance and coordinating the annual auction for Ottawa Therapy Dogs.

Walking in a fashion show at the book launch for Unconform

Anne-Marie has also contributed her story to Kathie Donovan’s book, Unconform, about living a courageous life.

Anne-Marie continues to inspire us all.  This amazing woman proves to us just how life changing the work being done at the Heart Institute is.




Thank you for your support during Heart Month

As the month of February comes to an end, we want to thank you for helping us celebrate our dear friend Anne-Marie in honour of Heart Month .
$2 from each of our sales this month will be going to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

This week, CTV news at 6, aired a beautiful segment about Anne-Marie’s heart transplant story and journey.  You can watch it here

And thank you again for your support.

Happy Anniversary to a Special Heart

We continue to celebrate Heart Month by honouring our beautiful friend Anne-Marie who underwent a heart transplant back in September, at the Toronto General Hospital. 

Today, February 17th, marks her 5 month anniversary with her new heart. 
It has been amazing having her back in Ottawa, and the frequent visits at the shop !
Stay tuned for more information in regards to a special interview she did for CTV News this past week.
*We will be donating $2 from each sale this month to Anne-Marie’s fundraiser of choice, which is the Ottawa Heart Institute.  You can also donate by buying $2 paper hearts here at viens avec moi.


Here is a recap on who we are celebrating during February.
In honour of Heart Month this year, we are celebrating our beautiful friend Anne-Marie.
She underwent a heart transplant five months ago and is now on the road to recovery.
She is one amazing human being and continues to impress and inspire us with her strength and positive outlook on life.  Here’s a little glimpse of her past.
A photo of Anne-Marie at birth at the hospital.  Anne-Marie was born March 30th, 1979 at the Ottawa General Hospital, and was brought to CHEO right away by ambulance.
She was born with a congenital heart defect called tricuspid atresia and pulmonary atresia.  Anne-Marie had heart surgery the day she was born and two open heart surgeries by the age of 4.
Anne-Marie’s brothers visiting her at Toronto’s Sick Kids.  She was 4 years old here getting her Fontan surgery.  The little girl in the photo was another patient Anne-Marie hung out with.
(After recovery from the Fontan procedure, Anne-Marie was at CHEO until she graduated to the Heart Institute’s adult congenital heart clinic)
Anne-Marie had a trampoline in their backyard which she wasn’t supposed to go on and couldn’t really handle, but would go on it anyways. 😉
She would get tired quickly and would lie down on the step in their backyard.
Anne-Marie playing with her lego set.  She later realized looking at this photo that it was a hospital lego set.
Anne-Marie with her mother Suzanne Pinel (For those of you born in the 80’s, you might recognize Suzanne…she is the
oh so famous Marie Soleil 😉 !

Before Anne-Marie’s surgery when she was four years old, she asked the doctor if she could have some chips when her surgery was over.  (She was on a very strict low sodium diet and wasn’t usually allowed to have them)
The doctor said yes.  So Anne-Marie also asked him if she could get a dog, and he said yes she could.

When Anne-Marie’s mother, Suzanne, was speaking with the doctor she was naturally very nervous about the surgery and was crying.  She didn’t want him to think she didn’t have confidence in him so she explained that she was crying because she was terrified of dogs and didn’t know why the doctor had said to her daughter she could get a dog.

The surgeon let Suzanne know that if the surgery worked, it would only give Anne-Marie a few years and she unfortunately would not live past the age of 10.  So he explained to Suzanne that if her daughter woke up from the surgery, he would tell her that she could only get a dog when she turned 10 years old.
Anne-Marie proved everyone wrong and DID turn 10.  So Suzanne HAD to get Anne-Marie a dog.

We will be donating $2 from each sale this month to Anne-Marie’s fundraiser of choice, which is the Ottawa Heart Institute.  You can also donate by buying $2 paper hearts here at viens avec moi.