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Rodeo ropes money for causes

In Baker County, the Fourth of July means that it’s time for the Haines Stampede and all the trimmings.

With the pancake breakfast, the parade, the rodeo and the fireworks, there’s enough to fill anyone’s plate. 

Besides all the fun, friends, food and family, the festivities in Haines have important philanthropic elements. 


One family, 3 heart surgeries

Jason and Stacy Bingham are living a double nightmare, watching hearts fail in both their son and daughter.

It’s happened before for the couple, who live near Haines.

Different child, same diagnosis.

Lindsey Lou, 8, and Gage, 3, are now next door to each other at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif.

Lindsey hasn’t felt quite right for a while, but she got really sick in May.

“May 19, she woke up with a swollen face,” Jason said. Her diagnosis: dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that causes it to become enlarged.

It is the exact diagnosis the Binghams heard six years ago when their oldest daughter, Sierra, got sick. “It never crossed my mind,” Jason said.

Sierra, now 12, was admitted to Lucile Packard in July 2006, and received a heart transplant that August.

A quilt that truly warms the heart

The ‘Threads of Life’ quilt honors organ donors and recipients.
Each quilt square tells a story — lives saved by organ donation, and lives forever memorialized by giving the gift of life.

This “Threads of Life” quilt is one of 12 circulated in Oregon and Southwest Washington by Donate Life Northwest. It is currently on display at the Baker City DMV office, 3370 10th St.

Angels who really do fly

Angel Flight volunteer pilots take children for non-emergency hospital appointments, hundreds of miles from home, for no charge

Sierra Bingham, 10, disembarks from a plane at the Baker City Municipal Airport Saturday. Bingham, who had a heart transplant four years ago, was returning from a checkup at a hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. She was folwn free of charge by Angel Flight pilots Joe and Rosemary Pelissier. (Baker City Herald/Russell Vineyard)
Imagine a child, stricken with leukemia, who needs to travel to a hospital hundreds of miles away for treatment.

Now imagine that she needs to do this as often as twice a week.

The cost for each round-trip could top $100 for fuel alone.

But what if an angel offered this child a free ride?

An angel disguised as a single-engine airplane.

The idea isn’t unheard of.

It isn’t even uncommon.

In 2006 Sierra Bingham, then 6, was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. The condition caused the Haines girl’s heart to grow too fast, weakening that vital organ.

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