Gracie’s Benefit Ride to help 7-month-old who underwent open heart surgery


HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Grace Gymnastics Club is holding a big event tomorrow, with an even bigger cause.

According to owner Kiley Beam, all proceeds will go towards a 7-month-old little girl named Hannah Johns.

“There will be a DJ here, there’s going to be food vendors. It’s going to be fun for kids, face painting, we’ll have an open gym, bounce house will be out here,” said Beam.

Beam says she just wants to give back to somebody else, especially after this same event helped her own daughter Gracie.

“When my daughter Gracie was 2, she was born with severe heart defects and needed transplants,” said Beam.

Beam traveled all across the state to find her daughter help, but it was to no avail.

“None of the doctors wanted to take her, she was just too high risk. So they told us to take her home and love her,” said Beam.

Gracie’s family wasn’t giving up. Her aunt orchestrated a benefit ride so they could get a medical lawyer.

“We raised $10,000, enough to get a lawyer. We sent her records all over the country, and Nation Wide Children’s in Columbus Ohio stepped up to the plate and saved her life. She’s 10 years old now,” said Beam.

8 years later, Gracie’s Benefit Ride continues saving others.

“She has many specialists that she still sees, it’s been hard juggling being back to work both of us full time you know with all of her appointments,” said Hannah’s mom Jamie.

According to Jamie it’s been challenging for their family, but says it’s the community’s generosity, kindness and prayers, that has helped them pull through.

“I’ve told people that out of darkness there’s always something beautiful and bright and that’s what we found our hope is just the community reaction and the support we’ve been given,” said Jamie.

As of right now Jamie says Hannah is defying all odds, proving that miracles really do happen. But Jamie says her little girl still has quite the journey ahead of her.

“She has a sub-mucus cleft palate and paralyzed vocal cords that require thickened feeds. Those would be her next possible surgeries,” said Jamie.

Gracie’s Benefit Ride starts May 29, at 9 a.m.

Jamie says Hannah, and the whole family will be in attendence.

“For as long as the kids cooperate,” said Jamie laughing.

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