Vinnie’s Heart

The Fabulous Women have always rallied around meaningful community causes. Sometimes we raise awareness and other times we restore hope in difficult situations. Every cause that we champion becomes our priority and focus, and when a child is involved we take it very personally. We ask ourselves, “How can we make this situation better? What is the Silver Lining? What can our community learn from this extraordinary hardship?

This is 9 year old, Vinnie Schenone. He is actually the little cousin of founding board members, Sandra Fetter and Krista Gawronski. Just days ago, Vinnie was on the playground at EverGreen School in Rohnert Park when he collapsed and went into a cardiac arrest. He nearly died. It was because of two amazing teachers who sprang into action to perform CPR that he was able to hold on long enough to receive medical attention. Mr. Bernal and Mrs. Scull are heroes. They saved Vinnie’s life. However, this is only the beginning of Vinnie’s medical trials. He was airlifted to Stanford Medical Hospital and will need a surgery on his heart.

That is a lot to take in. The family that surrounds him is the very same family that has faced the worst kind of fear. Papa Joe, who is Vinnie’s grandfather, was in a head on collision on Adobe Road almost a year ago. Doctors were not sure that he would make it, and when he did, they weren’t sure that he would ever walk again. His accident was not his fault. A driver swerved their car to avoid an animal in the road and hit Joe head on. Joe’s family has lost literally months of their lives attending medical appointments and undergoing rehabilitation. They have also faced the reality of debt because insurance is never enough.

Fortunately, Joe did defy the odds and he was able to regain his ability to walk with a cane. His inspiration to heal has been his daughters, Kristina, Jamie, and Gina, his wife, Gloria, and his grandchildren, Gabby and Vinnie. In fact, Joe has assumed the role of Vinnie’s father since he was just a little baby.

It’s really unclear why this family has had to endure such tough moments. The reality of this situation is that Vinnie needs care and they are struggling to meet financial demands. Fortunately, Stanford is a great care facility, but it comes at a great cost. Kristina is Vinnie’s mom, and she will have to stop working and keep close. With the help of Vinnie’s grandmother, Gloria and the loving aunties, everyone will take turns sleeping in waiting rooms and hotels. (This is a must for Joe, since he is disabled)

You can imagine how the bills will continue to pile up. This is a good family with community roots. They work with children, volunteers as coaches, and have worked hard to keep their little family united under the most strenuous circumstances.

If you feel inspired to help, the Fabulous Women of Sonoma County will hold an April Campaign online called, “Vinnie’s Heart” This is our way to show the Schenone Family that they are not alone and their community cares. If you would like to make a donation, please click on our donate button at the top of this page. If you’d rather mail in a check, please send your check to the following address:

The Fabulous Women of Sonoma County
PO BOX 7202
Petaluma, California 94955-7202

We are a registered nonprofit with an official Tax ID. Receipts can be given upon request.

As an additional note, we would like to encourage everyone to get CPR training. They have recently changed the technique making it easier to administer and learn. In fact, our group held an event last year that offered 15 minute demonstrations. It’s that simple. This is your whisper from the Universe. Get your CPR training. You could be someone’s hero, like Mr. Bernal and Mrs. Scull. You might never have to use it, but you will be ready to save a life at all times.

Here is the information shared by our local connections if you are looking for CPR certification:

Tami Bender and AED
 will have a free booth at the Butter and Eggs Parade this year

American Heart Association
1400 N Dutton Ave # 20, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 / (707) 224-8082

Mike Ortelli and SAFETY PROS
707-763-2400. Group or private classes at your home, work or school.

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