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One family – and five children with same serious heart disease

It's difficult to imagine having a seriously ill child - let alone five of them. But for a couple in Oregon, this is their reality: Each of their five children suffers from dilated cardiomyopathy or symptoms that can lead to the condition.

NBC got word of the story this summer and is now following the family as 8-year-old Lindsey Bingham awaits a heart transplant at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. (The eldest Bingham child, Sierra, had a successful transplant here six years ago.) Reporter Sandy Cummins recently blogged about the family and had this to say of her initial visit with them:

The Binghams are an impressive family. As we dined in the hospital cafeteria, I was struck by Stacy Bingham's patience with her other kids, her sense of calm, and by Jason's laser focus on helping his children. Megan, 11, asked lots of great questions about the production process. They're not attention-seekers and agreed to be interviewed for two reasons:  In the hope that it will help their children and that it will inspire people to become organ donors.

Two days after meeting the Binghams, I was back at the hospital, this time with Keith Morrison, a TODAY show producer and a camera crew. I was struck by something Stacy said, how she described the way a person's perspective changes when it feels like the clock of your life has been stopped by a medical crisis. She talked about leaving the hospital briefly one day to pick up something she needed from a nearby mall. "It's almost a Twilight Zone when you walk through the shopping center and there's people going about their daily lives like what color of shoes should I buy today to match this purse. It just seems so ironic because just [across the street there are] families that are worried and sick and suffering and aching for the health of their child to be better."

NBC plans, Cummins writes, to continue monitoring the family and telling their story as they go through the transplant process.

Photo courtesy of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital

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