Harper's Helpers

Working toward a full, long life.

September 1, 2016
by zanna


From the last day of kindergarten and 2nd grade, it was a whirlwind summer filled with camps, family trips, and neighborhood adventures.  And in what seems like a blink of an eye – the kids started school again this week!


last day of K & 2!


nokomis beach fun


auntie visits for June recital!



H’s happy place


sharing morning wisdom on the deck



biking to the 4th of july parade





rock climbing camp




cannon ball!


lost in the music at hinterland


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cape hatteras light station


morning view


fish cleaning lesson






first day of 3rd and 1st!

April 30, 2016
by zanna

5th annual cooks for kids!


We return every year to the Mpls Children’s Ronald McDonald House to serve a meal at the place that took such great care of Eric and me during our extended stay.  This place will always hold a special place in our hearts.

We are so grateful to our friends, family and co-workers that helped us cook, serve, clean up and gather donations for the house.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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December 7, 2015
by zanna

happy kidney-versary!

Four years!  Happy kidney-versary Harper!

Harper requested the traditional pizza and dancing to mark the occasion.  So fun to celebrate another milestone!  I wish I had captured some photos during the black light basement dance party; it was a blast!

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It was a bumpy few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving with several days in and out of the hospital from stomach bug complications. Chasing dehydration, weight loss, and appetite issues with tests, tests, IV fluids, and more tests.  Tested positive for low levels of CMV. This is one of the viruses that can be particularly dangerous for transplant patients; her docs ordered frequent level checks until a negative result returns.  Re-check last week was still positive for CMV; hoping for a negative result from next week’s draw …. 


Enjoyed a plan-B thanksgiving at home drinking LOTS of water and resting.

hospital volunteers are awesome but ones with dogs are the best!

hospital volunteers are awesome but ones with dogs are the best!

Plan-B thanksgiving fun

Plan-B thanksgiving fun


snowpant cycling


wintry walk for calorie-laden snacks

wintry walk for calorie-laden snacks


Worry and fear can overwhelm us at times; but in the next moment, gratitude will bowl us over.  A recent example:  Sitting in H’s 5th floor Amplatz room, scared with the uncertainty of the situation; I ducked out while she snoozed in search of coffee and spotted Dr. C (transplant surgeon) on rounds in the hall.  I had to restrain myself from giving him a huge hug and thanking him for saving our girl’s life.  He was engaged in discussion with the residents so I gave him a (thankful) nod instead :)

Thankful for the family and friends that surround and support us.  Grateful for Harper’s medical team (that is so close by!); they are so dedicated to getting H well and keeping her there.   And most thankful for our two little beings that brighten our lives; we are so privileged to be their parents.

November 7, 2015
by zanna


State Fair

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Harper turns 8!

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Cheering on Gpa Whitey!


Imholte reunion on Mad Island

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Pasta making

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Gus turns 6!

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August 9, 2015
by zanna
1 Comment


Since the end of 1st grade in mid-June, it has been a fun-filled summer with camps, trips to Mad Island, BWCA, WI cabins, visits with friends, block parties, countless bike rides, and lots of grandma-grandpa time.

Hard to believe that 2nd grade and kindergarten are right around the corner.
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May 15, 2015
by zanna

wish art!

Through Make-A-Wish MN, Harper was invited to create a piece of “Wish Art.”  She was paired with local artist Lynne Sarnoff-Christensen and over the course of several winter Saturdays, Harper and Lynne hand painted, glazed and fired checker squares/circles to create a handmade checkerboard.

The finished piece is up for auction at Make-A-Wish’s annual Wish Ball.  Harper and I will be donning our fanciest duds and attending the Ball tomorrow!   Harper has been asked to stand by her art piece and answer questions about her wish and the process of creating her wish art.

Proceeds from the Wish Ball support an organization that is near and dear to our family.  We LOVE Make-a-Wish and are thrilled to be a part of this weekend’s event.

Check out the awesome items up for auction including Harper’s checkerboard:


This year’s silent auction will be fully electronic via your smartphone or a BidPal device available at the event. For a better mobile experience, BidPal now has a mobile app for iOS and Android smartphone users to download and use onsite. We encourage you to download the app ahead of time.  (http://mn.wish.org/content/wish-ball/auction/silent-auction/download-bidpal-app)

More photos to come after the Ball :)


December 7, 2014
by zanna

3 years!

We celebrated the 3rd anniversary of Harper’s kidney transplant with the (now) traditional pizza and dance party.  That momentous day in our lives seems like a million years ago and just yesterday all at the same time.  Harper asked that her nephrology team be invited this year :)  Perhaps for the 15, 20, or 30th – they will join in our raucous basement dancing.

Our fall has flown by with the busy-ness school, work, swimming, dance, soccer, and impromptu Korte wrestling matches.

Harper was treated for pneumonia over Thanksgiving break.  The treatment protocol has led to complications with her immunosuppressant (tacro) drug levels.  There is a target drug level for her age/weight; too little = not enough rejection protection, too much = toxic to the system.  In order to adequately treat her form of pneumonia – the team put her on an antibiotic that exits the body through the same liver pathway as her tacro med.  If competing upon exit – it’s possible that the tacro loses out and as such builds up concentration in the blood stream.  To avoid this build up, the team decreased her tacro dose during antibiotic treatment.  Once treatment was complete – Harper had her labs drawn last Monday to see if her tacro levels were still within the target range.  Unfortunately – her levels were very low.  Got word to boost her dose and rechecked labs on Friday; the clinic called in the evening to let us know that her levels were still way too low and that another round of labs was needed for early next week.  Hoping for news on Tuesday that we’re back within range.

grateful for tonight’s energy, uncontrollable giggles and our amazing support system.



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