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Collin’s Story

This is the journey for Collin Luitjens, a 16 year old sophomore that went from seemingly healthy to on the heart transplant list in less than a week.  Thank you for visiting and signing the guestbook with your thoughts and well wishes for him!

I have had several people ask me for how/where to donate so I figured I would put them all here!

Monetary donations to can be sent to Community Bank c/o Collin Luitjens Benefit: 951 East Madison Ave Mankato, MN 56001

If you would like to send a check/money order let me know and I can get you the bank information where we have an account set up for the fundraisers.

Latest Journal Update

Heart day

One year ago today, we stopped in to visit Collin before we went down to the Vikings training camp. We were of course excited about our VIP tickets, but this was the first time Collin was going to be left "alone" at the hospital all day. Either Matt or I were always there with Collin. One of our regular nurses was there and she had planned on staying with Collin and watching movies.

Just as we were about to leave that morning our transplant coordinators came into Collins room (nothing new) and they say "How bout a new heart today?" This was also nothing new....everyday since we started waiting for Collin's new heart we always would say "Today is the best day for a new heart" we of course thought nothing new. They are like "no.....really....we just got offered a heart.....and we accepted" We had all these rushes of emotion, happiness, relief, sadness, and fear! The surgery was set for 5:30 all we could do was wait. We called our friends and family, we cried, we hugged everyone and we tried to breath.

Collin was so excited and he just wanted to go to the OR right away, but we had to wait for the rest of the organs to be assigned. He actually did not start at 5:30 pm but more like 10:30 pm. Matt and I sat in that room with Collin, waiting for them to come get him. We had to kiss our baby and tell him "see ya later" but we knew there was a possibility that would not happen. Those emotions again......Collin's heart day is kinda weird. He technically got offered the heart today July 30th, but because his surgery kept getting pushed back his heart was not placed till July 31st.

This last year has been a battle and it has not been easy. we have watched our baby boy turn into a young man right in front of our eyes! We have watched him fight through exhaustion, pain, fear....struggles that would have brought us to our knees. We have also been held up by God, our family and friends! We feel blessed and lucky. Thank you for all your support, thoughts and prayers! God is Good!!!!!!

22 people hearted this



Betty Robinson
By Auntie Betty
I am so impressed with Collin's strength, and his drive and some day he will want to give me a hug all on his own!!!!!
Leah Rodriguez
By Juan & Leah Rodriguez and Family
Way a precious journey!! Thank your for taking the time to share his journey!
Ann Aeschliman
By Ann Aeschliman
I am sure this past year has not been easy for any of you. You two are such strong parents and because of that he blessed Collin with the new heart. You are ALL an inspiration to all of us. God will continue to be good to you and I will continue to pray for that every day.
Carol Esterley-Ruff
By Carol Esterley-Ruff
This is a wonderful share. Go Collin!!! The world is praying you on. This tender & awesome time comes to our Family twice every year as well. I have TWO Great Grand Girls, Sisters, who were blessed by wonderful Donor Families as well. The first was in 8/07/2009 & the second 3 years later in 4/25/2013. Together, they are now, a feisty six-year-old & 9 year old. Despite some lingering brain damage, they continue on bravely, through the ups & downs to face an uncertain future. They are the happiest, most loving girls ever. Miracles happen everyday. PTL!!
Lucy Goblirsch
By Lucy Goblirsch
God bless all of you and continue to to keep you in his loving arms. What a blessing for you all.
1 person hearted this
JR and Kathy Griffin
By Kathy Griffin
Hi Collin,
Congratulations! A whole year that's wonderful. I would visit your site a lot in the past and had been praying for you. Then I received my pancreas which I waited for for almost 2 years I've had a lot of complications with transplant no rejection but in the hospital and in the house for last 7 months. I know you have a lot of things going on to but I know God has a plan for you and for me so we continue to be patient and it will be what ever he has planned. At least I've had a lot of contact with people I've never met and probably would have never met if I weren't in the hospital. This gives me a chance to introduce them to the Lord. He has a purpose for us. Stay close to him and contact me any time because we do have a connection and it does make a difference to talk to others that have had a transplant.....Praise him. God Bless Collin
Joan Rixe
I just sent my cards to Collin today. As a parent that went through the same emotions as you dealing with my son's heart surgery snafus and ups and downs. I got an excellent outcome with my son also. It's been 8 years on July 19th that we went through our ordeal. Nathan is now a thriving 19 year old. Thank God for our strong unwilling to give up sons. I too praise God daily for giving me more years with nathan. Happy 1 year heart anniversary Collin and family. Continued heath and we'll being. I will continue to pray for continued success and no health issues for him. Keep up the good fight collin. Job well done.

joan rixe.
Cindy Scholl
By Cindy Scholl
Don't you just love a happy ending? What a blessing to have Collin with us today! Good is good indeed.
1 person hearted this
Carol DeKruif
By Carol DeKruif - Make-A-Wish Volunteer
So very glad we got to meet Collin and your family. God IS good.