It is with broken hearts that we share the news that our beloved board member, Heather Dawn Rinard, has succumbed to her brave battle with cancer. Heather leaves behind her loving husband Matt, son Gavin, and daughters Sami, Izzy and Charliedawn.
Heather joined our HPE family with the birth of her daughter, Charliedawn in 2012, and she joined our board of directors in 2015. As an all-volunteer organization, Heather wore two hats for our organization—one as a director with governance and fiduciary responsibilities and the other with daily management of our social media accounts, website and robust online support network.
Heather became the first point of contact for hundreds of our HPE families, and as a result, Heather formed friendships with HPE families from around the globe. She helped find resources and shared tools which enabled families to become confident advocates for their children.
With her creativity and zeal for life, she played a primary role in supporting and promoting our annual HPE Awareness Week, Brackets For Good Fundraising Tournament, annual Halloween Costume Contest, and engaging HPE families in fun ways.
During her time on the Families for HoPE board, Heather generously gave of her time, talent and treasure. She and Charliedawn helped raise thousands of dollars for our organization, and in 2019, she organized a successful “Walk ‘n’ Roll” event in Arizona to support Families for HoPE. In 2017, she planned and hosted a retreat in Phoenix for 19 HPE moms from across the U.S.
Heather’s absence in our organization and our HPE community is painful for us all, but we know that she is free from the pain that besieged her body over the past year. Her impact on us all will be felt for generations to come.
We love you always, Heather.
(Please feel free to comment below to express your grief, write a tribute, or share memories of Heather and the impact she has made on your life.)