... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

On September 12, 2018, I had the very good fortune of e-meeting this woman. Her name is Christine Phan Cantorna. This was her initial message to me over social media:

“Hi Tracie!! 

I just read about your son Marc on the Save The Heart Beat instagram page. Just wanted to Thank the both of you for sharing your story because my son Riley has very similar CHD diagnoses as Marc. Riley diagnoses are Single Right ventricle, Pulmonary & Mitral atresia, Transposed aorta, Major aortopulmonary collaterals (MAPCA’s) and Heterotaxy in addition he was also born prematurely at 31 weeks. Thanks for shining light for us. God is good, all the time!!! 

I just started your book and it feels surreal!! Thanks to you and Marc from our family for giving our family hope. 😍   


This Heart Warrior Mama’s baby, Riley, went under the knife again in January at the tender age of two years at the Lucile Packard  Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto CA.

Christine said, “It has been such a struggle for our family. Hospital life, financially, my husband being a full-time stay-at-home dad for our son. But you and Marc have truly given us hope and we will never give up!!!

I am humbled and feel the need to do jump off of buildings for this Heart Warrior Mama if I can!


Over the past few weeks, I checked in almost daily on Riley’s progress: you know you’ve got to recognize the fine line between offering support and going on someone’s nerves when they are under extreme stress. This is the ultimate of extreme mental roller coasters. Nonetheless, it was my responsibility to send out prayers of hope and words of encouragement. At one moment, Marc, my son, and I reached out to her with messages of hope at the same time:

“Thanks Tracie!!! I just read Marc’s comment and he said the same thing happened to him. While I messaged him you messaged me!!! God plans for our path to crossed so that you and your heart warrior could give us guidance is more than I could ask for.”

A few days passed. Our Riley eventually suffered a stroke due to all the blood loss and passed away on February 9. The only good thing about this heart-breaking story is that precious Riley passed away in his sleep. That, and the fact that he gave his parents all the reasons in the world to burst with joy while he was in their midst.

Now, he will watch over them from Heaven–right where all angels belong.  

I am so very devastated. I so wanted this Heart Warrior Mama to get her Heart Warrior Baby back. I am angry at myself that I cannot change tis outcome. Angry and so very, very sad.

Christine, you are one of the best Mamas in the world. On your behalf, to help you and your family tuck Riley away one final time, I am asking everyone reading this post to make a contribution to the In Memory of Riley Go Fund Me Page on Facebook. Please everyone, donate what you can–even a dollar will help and will be so very much appreciated.

God bless this angel and his family…