I walk because I know that with every step, I’m making a difference in someone’s life. When I say someone it is personal. It starts with my father-in law who has had triple by pass surgery, my dad who is a heart attack survivor and it ends with me.
I am Congenital Heart Defect Warrior! Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are conditions that are present at birth and can affect the structure of a baby's heart and the way it works. They are the most common type of birth defect.
I was born with complete heart block. What does that mean? Third-degree heart block (complete heart block). This is the most severe. In this type of block, electrical signals don't pass from your atria to your ventricles at all for periods of time. So, in simple terms it means my heart doesn't communicate well. The wall between my chambers is very thick which means the upper chamber has a delay when trying to communicate to the lower chamber to beat. Thankfully, with research and technology I have a pacemaker that helps this communication and keeps my heart beating at a normal rhythm. I am considered pacemaker dependent because I truly depend on this device to keep my heart beating without it my heart rate is below 30 beats per minute.
Since my heart is designed differently I also have been diagnosed with atrial flutter. Atrial flutter occurs when a short circuit in the heart causes the upper chambers (atria) to pump very rapidly. Atrial flutter is important not only because of its symptoms but because it can cause a stroke that may result in permanent disability or death.
I know this all sounds scary, and it is. But it is my life and I know nothing different. I live an amazing life and am not held back becasue I have been lucky to have some of the absolute best doctors in the country. I have had multiple procedures and surgeries, but they are not a cure. You see there is no cure for CHD (congenital heart defects) only treatments. My hope is someday there will be a cure.
I hope you see why your help is so important. Mine is only one of the stories. 1 in 100 babies are born with a congenital heart defect everyday. As medical care and treatment have advanced, infants with congenital heart defects are living longer and healthier lives.
You can be a Heart Hero by joining this cause and helping to fund more research. With research we can hopefully someday find a cure and no more children will suffer with CHD.
Will you be a Heart Walk Hero with me?
Your donation will fund groundbreaking research that literally keeps hearts like mine beating and helps people like me have longer, healthier lives.
Have a heart and help me reach my goal today!