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My Why- Jessie


ēCO is proud to raise money for Children’s of Alabama. Over the last ten years, we have raised over $350,000 to support the only free-standing hospital in the state of Alabama dedicated solely to the care of children. We’re a little over halfway through our 2020 Change for Children’s fundraiser and have already raised more than $40,000, including the Co-Op Miracle Match.

Jessie is a Member Service Representative at ēCO’s Gardendale branch. Since the fundraiser kicked off in September, she has raised almost $2,000 to support Children’s of Alabama. She has a special reason for fundraising and has shared her “why.”

Jessie’s oldest daughter, Harper, started receiving care at Children’s of Alabama at 4 days old and spent the first 4 months of her life there. She was born with a genetic condition called Total Aganglionosis Hirschsprung’s Disease. Her intestines cannot absorb nutrition or push stool through the intestines. At a few weeks old, she had to have surgery where they removed all of her large intestines and some of her small intestines. Because of that, she has a colostomy bag.

The biggest thing that Harper has had to have surgically put in is a central line (port) in her chest. It is how she gets all of her nutrition. She is on TPN (total parental nutrition) and SMOF Lipids for sixteen hours a day; they go into her central line. She also had to have a g-tube put into her stomach for feeds that she gets three times a day. This is just to test and see how much she can actually absorb.

When asked about the care they received at Children’s, Jessie said, I cannot say enough about the care Harper has received while at Children’s! The first several years of her life she was in and out of the hospital for weeks at a time and continues to visit every now and then for appointments. They work very hard to provide the very best care! At Children’s, they are very supportive of the families and want the families to be involved in the decision-making process when it comes to the care of the child.

Harper is now six and started first grade this year. She carries her fluids in a small backpack everywhere she goes, but it hasn’t slowed her down one bit! Despite her condition, she lives the most normal life that a 6-year-old girl can live. She is able to do just about anything with some medical supplies in tow! Harper loves going to school and making new friends. She also enjoys watching TV, Legos, playing at the park, and playing pirates with her sister.

Jessie is passionate about raising money to support Children’s of Alabama. She said, “I have been the parent that was scared… that didn’t know what was going to happen to my child. The parent that didn’t know how the bill was going to be paid. Because of donations that are made to Children’s every day, I have had the peace of knowing that my child is receiving the best care possible, and when financial times have been hard, there was always a way for the bill to be paid. Raising money for Children’s is such a small thing I feel like I can do to give back so that other families can hopefully feel peace as well.”

Would you consider donating to help provide peace of mind to families? Learn more and donate.

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