Who Am I?

Who Am I?

My name is Denise Even and I spent my childhood as a small town country girl in Saskatchewan. After becoming an adult I have lived in multiple cities across the US. But I missed my family and so I brought my daughter back to Saskatchewan (No, I did not miss the weather here, lol).

My daughter Arianna is my miracle. She has fought so many health battles in her life and she amazingly is still here with me today. She was born with a major heart defect where the left side of her heart never really developed. She went into open heart surgery (her first) when she wasn't even a full 24 hrs old! She had the second stage heart repair done when she was just 6 months old. The third and last one was supposed to take place when she was 2 yrs old. But it was delayed when something more important came up. What could be more important you ask? Cancer. At 18 months old she was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma Cancer. Over the next 6 months she went through 8 rounds of chemo and experienced complications such as high blood pressure, infections, blood clots and even seizures. After her chemo was done she had a debulking surgery to remove as much of the remaining tumour as was safe. She still has some tumour in her belly but thankfully it is no longer cancerous. The third stage heart repair took place when she was 4 years old. All went well, but not long after she was diagnosed with Protein-Losing Enteropathy. This is a rare complication of the last stage heart repair. This condition allows some protein to pass through the body without being absorbed. There is one particular protein (albumin) which is of special importance. It makes your blood act like a sponge to hold fluid in your veins. When this protein gets low the water leaks out and pools in other areas of the body. When it gets bad she swells up and her belly gets huge from all the extra water. It creates pressure on the organs and will start to pool in the lungs as well. As she got older she started having more problems with this condition. Since this was a complication of her last heart surgery we ended up having to do a heart transplant to try to fix the issue. After nearly a year on the waiting list she got her heart transplant at 11 years old. Her and I spent three months in Edmonton afterward so that the doctors could keep an eye on her. After the transplant she had issues with her immune system and the docs started giving her Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). At first they said she would only need it a few times and then she would be done with it. However now it looks like it will be a lifelong thing. This means that every month she spends roughly 16 hrs (on two separate days) in the hospital getting transfusions. She is 18 years old now. She has had a total of 7 surgeries and 8 rounds of chemo. On three separate occasions she has been given a 50% or less chance of survival. And that doesn't even count the heart transplant. When We found out about the cancer they told us "little to no hope". So, given all this you may understand how my daughter and her health issues are a big part of who I am today.

Now on to happier things. All my life I have excelled in anything of a crafty nature. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've annoyed a sibling or two with how easily I pick up new skills. I have done pencil drawings, oil paintings, carving, clay sculptures, leather work, and pretty much any craft I could get my hands on. I just enjoy creating things and love the sense of accomplishment I get when looking at a finished piece. I have the patience and the attention to detail to bring projects to the next level. My brother once told me that I have the golden touch when it comes to anything of a crafty nature.

For roughly the last 10 years Arianna and I have been a part of a mixed family. Cory and his daughter Payton have been wonderful support for both of us. We also have two dogs, a cat and are looking to get back into having a saltwater aquarium.

When Covid 19 hit the province, my family went into lock down to protect Arianna. After awhile Cory went back to work but I have remained at home, not willing to put Arianna in the extra danger. Instead, I stocked up on wire, beads, tools and such and learned a new craft. I think you can maybe guess what that new craft is, lol. My skills with wire wrapping have improved and I have learned so much while staying at home. I have spent hours upon hours online learning what I can. Not to mention the time spent practising and coming up with my own designs. I know there is still a lot that I have left to learn, and I look forward to it. 

Who knows what the future will bring? Who knows what Covid will bring? All I know is that I am as determined as ever to turn Crafty Wires into a real business, and make it a success. Will you help me?


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