For Isaiah

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As bills rise, friends of charity organizer step up in time of need and help promote fundraiser

By John Whitlock

After years of helping sick children and desperate families, a local woman and her family face tough times. Now, friends are turning out to offer them support.
Sunday, a fundraiser will be held for Isaiah Columbia and his family. Isaiah has been the inspiration for his family to help others through the annual Walk for Awareness of CHDs that raised money and awareness of the struggle families and children go through when facing life-threatening cardiac problems.
The “For Isaiah, Carnival and Cookout” will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Owen County Fairgrounds and promises plenty of fun for adults and children of all ages. Some of the events include carnival games, inflatables, a balloon artist, cotton candy, food and a silent auction featuring items donated from local merchants.
For over six year, Katie Columbia, as chairperson for God’s Special Little Hearts, has worked tirelessly to ease the pain of families facing dire medical situations.
Her inspiration throughout the years has always been her own son, Isaiah, who was born with several heart abnormalities.
In recent weeks, Isaiah’s health has taken a turn for the worse, with a heart-transplant looming as the only viable option to keep him alive.
With the additional medical procedures, consultations and tests, the out-of-pocket expenses and travel are beginning to take a toll.
Katie Columbia, friends said, has refused to take money from the foundation she has worked so hard to build.
But her friends, co-workers and supporters said they refused to stand by and decided to take action to help the Columbia family, which has given so much to others without thought for themselves.
Meg Fitzgerald, one of the event organizers, said the fundraiser is just a small way to show the Columbia family a tiny degree of appreciation for the impact they have had on the lives of so many people.
“Katie and her family have done so much for my family and so many others that I hope this is a great success,” Fitzgerald said. “She refuses to take from the foundation, so this is the least we could do for her.”