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Support our beloved teacher, Monicka

Some of you already know that our beloved teacher, Monicka, is about to take a leave of absence from teaching. Her child, Kavi, is about to undergo open heart surgery for the second time in their short life on July 27th. As a community, we are asking for your support in whatever way you might be able to offer it, as she and her family embark on an enormous challenge via this surgery and its long recovery process.

Read on for more information and how you can help...

What is happening:

  • Kavi was born with previously undiagnosed Congenital Heart Disease, which included Transposition of the Great Arteries, Coarctation of the Aorta, Double-outlet Right Ventricle, and a Ventricular Septal Defect. The family went from an uncomplicated water-birth at home to full life support in the pediatric ICU at Randall children's hospital within a few days.

  • Kavi underwent a lifesaving 8-hour open-heart surgery at 5-days-old, where the structural anomalies present were repaired. The thing about congenital heart disease is that it is a life-long condition. Kavi gets regular check-ups at the cardiologist each year, sometimes more than once per year, which includes ultrasound imaging to keep track of how things are growing and evolving. Kavi has undergone 4 total cardiac catheter procedures to fine tune some of the issues, and to get more accurate imaging of how things look from the inside. The Dr. has been monitoring Kavi's aortic valve as it has been showing increasing insufficiency (leakage basically) for the last few years.

  • In March the Dr. decided that they could postpone intervention no longer, as the structural integrity of the heart was starting to become compromised. This upcoming surgery will be a full aortic valve replacement with a mechanical valve that will allow Kavi's heart to function more efficiently and reduce the extra stress on the heart muscle and vessels. The goal is for this to be a long-lasting repair to prevent further intensive surgical interventions in the future. This will occur on July 27th.

Ways you can help:

  • Make a monetary donation. This is the most pressing and immediate need. In addition to the costs of a surgery and recovery of this magnitude, they need to take extended unpaid leave from work to care for Kavi. Donations can be made via PayPal at, Venmo at @Monicka-Koneski, or via Mealtrain (though Mealtrain takes a percentage so the first two methods are preferred). Please choose “friends and family” so they can avoid fees as much as possible. If you prefer to send a check, please make it out to Monicka Koneski and send it to them at the address you can find on their Meal Train site here.

  • Purchase groceries. Once the family is settled at home after August 10th, assisting them with a grocery delivery or doing a grocery drop-off will be very welcome. Instacart Gift Cards can be purchased here.

  • Sending cards, messages, art supplies, games or pictures for Kavi are certainly welcome to bring some cheer during a long recovery period of about 6 weeks. If you'd like to send anything in the mail for Kavi or the family, please find that info via the Mealtrain link.

Any contribution that this loving community can make to this kind, struggling family and to a longtime pillar of this yoga community, one that has given her joy and care so selflessly for so many years, is met with deep gratitude. Asking for help is incredibly hard and vulnerable, but this is the kind of community that we, and this family, want to continue to foster and create. All of these acts truly add up, and make a tremendous impact on an otherwise harrowing and extremely stressful experience.

With love,

Tara, Zeyah, Lisa Mae and the rest of the BYMC Family


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