'Salsa Mom' Given $15,000 Donation To Help Pay for Young Son's Heart Transplant


Stacey Rogers and her husband, Tom, were prepared to do anything possible to make sure their almost 2-year-old boy receives the treatment he needed.

Born 6 weeks premature, their son Zion was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy, which basically means that his heart muscle has thickened making it more difficult for his heart to pump blood throughout his body correctly.

“If he is too active, he has a hard time breathing,” Stacey said. “He just has a lot of days he doesn’t feel very good.”

The medical costs only continued to pile up as the toddler fought for his life. Tom took a second job to try to help offset those costs, but even that wasn’t proving to be enough.

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As his condition worsened, his need for a heart transplant became more and more imminent.

So Stacey began brainstorming ideas to raise even more money for her son’s medical costs. Her sister set up a GoFundMe page, but Stacey needed something that could help cover his monthly echos and other treatments.

“We praise our Father in Heaven for every day that he keeps Zions heart beating. We have hope that a heart will be provided to our precious Zion and we trust in the Lords timing,” Rebecca Kalberg, Stacey’s sister said.

She began offering housecleaning services to others in the Queen Creek, Arizona, area and also began making large batches of salsa to sell.

She wrote on a recent post, “It is amazingly delicious and you can have the satisfaction while eating it that you helped keep Zion at home for another month!”

News spread like wildfire around the Phoenix area. Once people heard Zion’s story on a local news station, hundreds of orders came flooding in.

“I’ve had customers at work come up to me and say they saw it on the news, and asked about him, and if they can help,” said Owen Rogers, Zion’s grandfather.

The strong toddler’s story especially touched a Desert Financial Credit Union employee. The credit union just recently launched a program that allows employees to nominate people who deserve a random act of kindness.

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The employee went straight to her supervisor to nominate the Rogers family, and it was undeniably approved; the family would receive $15,000 to help cover little Zion’s medical costs.

“Whenever our employees are seeing somebody that just needs a helping a hand, they’re nominating them,” Cathy Graham, with Desert Financial, said. “It just shows their huge heart.”

Stacey was overwhelmed with gratitude. “I just am grateful,” she said. “I wish there were words to say, to express my feelings.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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