As a Heart Warrior, TJ Carrie is committed to providing passionate support to children diagnosed with congenital heart disease (CHD.) His focus is on the child’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs and that of their family while listening to their fears and uncertainties. His encouraging message is to be brave, remain strong, work hard, and dream big. That is the “TJ Carrie Heart Warrior” battle cry. Together, the children with CHD
and their families can overcome the fears and uncertainties they face each day.
Along with mentorship, the TJ Carrie Foundation provides support and health information programs, including Camp Carrie, Shadow Buddies, and Preventive Heart Screenings.
“CAMP CARRIE | A Family Retreat for Heart Warriors,” was founded by TJ and Ty’lsha Carrie as a retreat for families dealing with the challenges that come when a child has heart disease. The camp provides these parents and siblings emotional support with heart health education, family fun activities, and a chance to share Heart Warrior tales. TJ’s family, including his parents and brothers, assist with camp activities. They talk about their fears and the impact TJ’s open-heart surgery had on their family.
CAMP CARRIE is held annually at Maumee Bay, one of the Great Ohio Lodges on Lake Erie. Families experience a warm and loving environment with other children and parents with similar life experiences. A day at CAMP CARRIE includes games, swimming, hiking trails, fitness activities, crafts, and a marina experience and concludes with a fireside heart chat and s’mores. This camp is free of charge to the families, including lodging, food, and camp activities.
The success of Camp Carrie comes from TJ having heart-to-heart talks with the children and their parents. It does not take long for the kids to come together and create a friendship that hopefully will last for years. Something special comes when experiences are shared and connections made. TJ Carrie and his family are Heart Warriors and are honored to join with other Heart Warriors who also have faith, love, hope, and compassion!
Check out some of our previous Camp Carrie photos below.
PERSONS PER FAMILY
YEARS OF AGE IS THE
AVERAGE AGE OF CAMP CARRIE HEART WARRIORS
CAMP CARRIE APPLICATION for 2023 is NOW OPEN. To be eligible, families must have
a child with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) between ages 8-17. Participating families
must complete all necessary paperwork before camp, i.e., medical waivers. The TJ Carrie
Foundation will notify families in early May.
HEART SHADOW BUDDIES + HOSPITAL VISITS
TJ joined the Shadow Buddies Foundation to create the “TJ Carrie Heart Shadow Buddy.” The buddy is a soft doll designed to be a “friend like me,” with an incision scar down the chest and a red mended heart, complete with a #38 Carrie T-shirt and NFL-themed shorts. The “TJ Carrie Shadow Buddy” lets children know they are never alone and have a friend... a buddy. TJ faced fear when undergoing his open-heart surgery and understands having a buddy provides comfort and something tangible that can be held onto at that moment and even for a lifetime. TJ personally delivers the “TJ Carrie Heart Shadow Buddies” to local children’s hospitals when visiting heart patients throughout the year. Carrie often shows his “zipper” scar and shares his experiences with children with similar scars.
Each year, TJ and Ty’Isha Carrie celebrate Valentine’s Day, the anniversary of TJ’s
open-heart surgery, at children’s hospitals, spreading the holiday cheer to heart patients. Carrie delivers heart-shaped balloons, his Heart Shadow Buddy, and a “Heart Warrior” message to children and parents who are also celebrating this special day filled with hope, courage, and love. At Christmastime, you’ll find the Carries dressed in Santa hats and carrying a Santa bag filled with his Heart Shadow Buddy along with other unique gifts.
TJ and Ty’Isha have personally delivered hundreds of the “TJ Carrie Heart Shadow Buddies” to heart patients at Oakland Children’s Hospital, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children Hospital in Cleveland, the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, and the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
Check out our Hospital Visits Photo Gallery below.
IS THE AVERAGE AMOUNT OF MINUTES TJ
HAS SPENT WITH OUR HEART WARRIORS
IS THE AGE RANGE OF ALL THE PATIENTS WE SEE
PREVENTATIVE HEART SCREENINGS
TJ teamed with the MCORE Foundation in creating the #38 Heart Warrior Campaign,
a collaboration to educate and raise awareness and funding for preventative heart
screenings across Northeastern Ohio and Indiana. As part of the campaign, Carrie
donates preventive heart screenings to student-athletes in underserved communities.
Providing families a convenient and cost-effective baseline heart evaluation is a
start in preventing sudden cardiac arrest.
The TJ Carrie Foundation supports the MCORE Foundation’s belief that educating
communities about what sudden cardiac arrest is, its signs and symptoms, CPR-AED
awareness, family history, and preventative heart screening programs can save lives.
MCORE’s system is easy from registration to results. The images are taken with the
best mobile equipment available by registered cardiac sonographers and read by