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News & Press: FOCUS

Save Lives at the Lansing Heart Walk: Alicia's Story

Wednesday, August 2, 2017  
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I hadn't given much thought to heart disease - until January 2011. That January my wife, Anna and I received a phone call about a baby who had been abandoned at a hospital ER. We were told that nobody wanted this 22-day old baby girl that was not doing well. Besides being born dangerously premature, she had been diagnosed with a variety of health problems. The most serious of those was a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot.

We immediately went to the hospital to meet her and fell head over heels in love. I knew immediately that we would be adopting Baby Girl Doe, despite the challenges ahead.

We began a long uphill battle for the life of our new daughter, Alicia. Alicia’s fight is long and hard to convey, but the short version is she had two open heart surgeries within the first year of her life. Imagine your baby having her chest and ribs cracked open, her heart stopped, put on a heart lung machine and then the surgeons attempting to repair a heart that was the size of a walnut.

Amazingly, her heart was repaired and her life saved. I have been told that just a decade ago, the science did not exist to do what they were able to do for Alicia. Thankfully, the American Heart Association funds this type of innovative research.

Today Alicia is an active, healthy, beautiful 6-yearold. She is our miracle child and the reason that I became the chairman of the 2017 American Heart Association Heart Walk in Lansing. My family knows firsthand how the money raised from the Heart Walk changes lives. I’m asking you to join me save lives like Alicia’s. Sponsor the event and register your team at Commit to fighting the No. 1 killer of Americans and No. 1 birth defect.

Your commitment could not go to a better cause!

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