The Ramey family started their relationship with Riley Hospital for Children the day Brylee was born.
“She was born with nine congenital heart defects,” said her mom, Mandy. “They lifelined her up and our adventure began with Riley that day.”
Since then, Brylee has had several open-heart surgeries. Still, she’s a fairly active 9-year-old, especially considering she only has half a heart.
“She has dizzy episodes and she turns blue sometimes if she doesn’t have enough oxygen or we need to sit down. Things like that we deal with on a daily basis. But considering she only has half a heart, she looks amazing,” Mandy said. “And we owe it all to Riley. She wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for them.”
Through their relationship with Riley and Riley’s relationship with the Colts, the Ramey family made a visit to Grand Park for Kid’s Day at Colts Training Camp on Saturday.
“We have 10 Riley families here today, kids who are either previous patients or current patients at Riley Hospital for Children,” said Olivia Mozzi with Riley Children’s Foundation. “It’s just a really nice perk for them, having been through treatment or going through treatment and getting a phone call like this, ‘Hey, Riley wants to send you to Colts Training Camp.’ The families are over the moon about it. We love being able to provide something like that for them.”
The kids and their families enjoyed practice from a suite, where they had lunch and visited with the Colts Cheerleaders and Colts mascot, Blue.
For Lauren, it was extra special because when she’s not cheering on the Colts, she’s cheering on her patients at Riley, where she works as a nurse.
“This is such a fun event because it combines both of my two worlds,” she said. “The Colts are such a big part of my life and the same with working at Riley. So, getting to be here as a Colts cheerleader, but with Riley kids is really special.”
It was also special for Brylee, who in addition to being a Riley All Star, is also an All Star cheerleader.
Asked how she does it, she responded, “I’m brave and strong.”
When practice was over, the kids joined the players and coaches on the field and huddled up with them.
“We want to thank you all for coming out and enjoying practice with us,” said quarterback Jacoby Brissett. “Another great day to get better. We’re glad y’all could be a part of it and be an inspiration to us. We’re going to let y’all break it down for us today. We’re going to say ‘family’ on three, alright?”
And with that, Riley kid Wyatt Holmes took over.
“Family on three. One, two, three…”
While the Colts work to get better, so do the kids.
And when the kids cheer the Colts on this season, the Colts will be cheering them on just the same.