Several months ago, Teresa Kaepernick called Kimberlie Gamino.
Teresa's son, Colin, had received some money from an organization that sold bracelets with his name on them and wanted the cash to go to a charity that helped children with heart problems.
Teresa was a bit surprised; although the family had lost two children to heart ailments, that happened years before Colin came along and the Kaepernicks didn't talk about it very much.
"Apparently he has thought about it," Teresa said of her son, now the backup quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers. "I just thought that was really nice."
Gamino, who runs summer camps for children with heart disease, was happy to receive the donation. But she asked the Kaepernicks for more: She wanted their story.
So Rick and Teresa Kaepernick will take the stage at Camp Taylor's annual fund-raiser Saturday night and tell it.
"I initially was a little concerned," Teresa Kaepernick said. "It's kind of sad, parts of it, because of the fact that we lost two children."
The Kaepernicks have a classic love story: High school sweethearts from the age of 14, they married when they were 20 and started to plan their family. Son Kyle was born healthy. But Lance, born when Teresa was 23, and Kent, two years later, suffered from heart conditions and died in infancy. Daughter Devon was born the next year.
Teresa said she and her husband had genetic counseling and determined that they couldn't have more children.
"At that point, we were just thinking we were really fortunate to have two healthy kids," she said.
But about five years later, Teresa started thinking.
"I just very suddenly had a very strong urge," she said. "We were supposed to have one more child in our family."
The Kaepernicks went through the adoption process, and Colin joined their family.
A few years later, the family moved from Wisconsin to Turlock, where Colin was a standout baseball and football player for Pitman High School before playing for the University of Nevada and now the 49ers.
Colin will visit Camp Taylor this year, Gamino said.
"It's a great connection for us and for the children," Gamino said. Although the camp has grown over the past 10 years, the faltering economy has hurt donations and a family camp planned for this year had to be canceled.
"We have lots of children to serve," she said. "We have a waiting list."
Last year, the camp served 550 children. She is hoping that the fund-raiser brings in enough money to get close to that this year.
"I loved her story," Gamino said. "You go through trials and you have challenges, and it seems like somehow there is a silver lining."
Teresa said reliving those memories has been emotional, and talking about them will be a bigger challenge than she anticipated.
"My husband has no problem with public speaking. Me, I'm not a public speaker," she said. "But I'm glad we're doing it; anything we can to help support Camp Taylor."
And overall, her family's story is a very happy one.
"It certainly seems like everything came out the way it was meant to be," Teresa said. "Some things are just supposed to be."
Bee staff writer Patty Guerra can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2343.