NAME: Shannon Harnack
OCCUPATION: Senior Loan Closing Specialist
HOMETOWN: Carroll, IA
WHAT IS YOUR CLAIM TO FAME? Living life after a tragedy.
HOW MANY CHILDREN? I am Mom to the most magnificent little 8 year old boy, Jack. I am also Mom to a sweet, sweet daughter Charlotte who just happens to live in heaven.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TREAT/ CHEAT MEAL? HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE A CHEAT MEAL?
Diet Mt. Dew and peanut M&M’s. I don’t eat this very often anymore, but I lived on that in the hospital and after when I was wishing I could be back in that hospital life.
HOW DO YOU EAT WELL AS A MOM ON THE GO? My goal for this year is to get my eating on track – be better prepared.
WHAT FOOD CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT? Currently Diet Mt. Dew – trying to slowly kill that addiction.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CLEAN MEAL? A Fit Mom Diet Favorite: grilled chicken, rice and grilled veggies.
ARE THERE ANY FOODS THAT YOU AVOID AT ALL COSTS? CHEESE (that is not melted – it’s a texture thing!)
WHAT’S YOU FAVORITE EXERCISE? Love taking Zumba classes, but not currently a member of the gym. Anything with my family or my sweet boxer dog, Lucy. I love to ride bikes, take Lucy for a walk while Jack rides his scooter or now that it is nicer out, go hiking / kayaking.
HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED? I can’t say that I do.
IF YOU COULD ONLY OFFER ONE TIP TO A MOM TRYING TO GET BACK INTO SHAPE WHAT WOULD IT BE? Baby steps; find what works with YOU and for YOU.
WHEN YOU FEEL UNMOTIVATED WHAT DO YOU DO?
When I am having a down day, I stop and think WW’SJD’D (What Would Shannon Jay Dougherty Do) She never has an excuse and I remind myself of that and get up. JUST MOVE.
HOW HAS TRANFORMING YOURSELF PHYSICALLY MADE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE? I feel good about myself, generally have a better outlook and have much more energy.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE RECIPE TO SHARE? My two healthiest recipes would be puppy chow and popcorn cake. (HAHA)
A LITTE BIT ABOUT MISS CHARLOTTE:
Born August 3, 2012, Steve and I both thought we had a perfectly healthy little girl on our hands and were so excited for her to meet Jack and come home and join our family. At 24 hours of age, Charlotte was diagnosed with two very rare heart disorders 1) Truncus Arteriosous Type 1 and 2) Interrupted Aortic Arch Type b. This website has been by far my favorite for great information on these two disorders. She was life-flighted from the hospital I delivered at to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and had open heart surgery at 3 days old. She recovered in the hospital for a month and was sent home September 4, 2012. We anticipate many more surgeries throughout her life, with her 2nd one being in the very near future.
Charlotte’s 2nd surgery was to repair her truncus valve and we went all the way to Los Angeles for it, the surgeon Dr. Starnes is definitely something to write home about!!! The surgery was very successful and we were only in the hopsital for 8 days, much better than the first time around!! Once we got home, life as we knew it, was about to change …. and all for the better! In less than a month, Charlotte had gotten rid of her feeding tube and was able to take all of her bottles by mouth, which was something we had looked forward too since we left the hospital in September. And slowly but surely, life for Charlotte started to become normal. Normal baby stuff, normal eating, normal, normal, normal. Check ups with her doctors started to become less and less and life was good!
August 23, 2013 it was a complete surprise to ALL and Charlotte gained her wings. There were no signs whatsoever.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE? DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS OF WISDOM OR ADVICE, POSSIBLY SOMETHING THAT HELPED YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
Ok, so I have answered all these questions, but I still struggle with being an inspiration to anyone.
I get up and go every day for my son Jack. It would be completely unfair of me to stay in bed and cry all day. He deserves the best, he deserves a Mom that can smile and have fun, and he deserves so much more than what life has thrown at us. I was so concerned after Charlotte passed that Jack would look back on his life and say “it all went downhill after Charlotte died” and that thought scared me. Scared me enough to get up every day with a smile on my face and try. If one day doesn’t go as planned, there is always tomorrow to start over.
I have found over this past year, when I have seen the most changes within my body that I had to do what worked for me. I look back on the last couple years and realize, I was completely depressed. Baby steps got me back on track. For example: I found myself still eating at McDonalds’s (with Jack), but I went with a Happy Meal instead of a Value Meal.
I just don’t know how to articulate how far I’ve come. It’s just the daily grind for me, hard to put myself on the outside looking in. But what I do know is, Don’t worry ’bout a thing, ’cause every little thing is gonna be alright.
•••We asked our Momspiration Shannon to share a blog she was featured in titled, Thank You For Everything. Not only will you get to see her new tattoo, but you will learn from four pillars of strength, four mothers who have had a child pass away. We’re sure you will be touched by their stories and the comfort, inspiration, insight and strength they have brought us. •••
HOW DO WE GET INVOLVED?
The Heart Walk, is a community event that celebrates those that have made lifestyle changes and encourages many more to take the pledge to live a healthier lifestyles while raising the dollars needed to fund life-saving initiatives in our local community. We’re not just walking. We’re Heartwalking. Our participation in Heart Walk promotes fun ways to be physically active and my sweet Charlotte will be remembered in their memorial section on Saturday, March 18th, 2017.