Thank you for visiting our team page! Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in the US. It affects 1 in 100 babies born each year. CHD has affected our family not once but twice. We walk in honor of Misty Sharpe, an adult living and thriving with CHD and in memory of Drew Kelley, who passed away unexpectedly from CHD complications at 20 years old. Please consider joining our team and walking with us on October 30 or making a tax deductible contribution to support CHD education, research and programs.
Misty Nicole Kelley was born on June 16, 1987 and within days, she was critically ill with a diagnosis of coarctation of the aorta with atrial and ventricular septal defects. Her first surgery was at 7 days old as she bravely fought heart failure. During that first year, Misty was a delightful, "normal" appearing baby who met all of her developmental milestones but her coarctation surgery needed to be done again at 13 months. During the next year, Misty developed aortic stenosis which is where the aortic valve doesn't open properly to provide sufficient blood flow to the body. She underwent surgery #3 at 13 months old. Unfortunately, the surgery was not successful and Misty had her 4th surgery at age 4 1/2. It was a risky surgery. She was the youngest patient to have the procedure (Konno with Mechanical Aortic Valve Replacement) in Georgia. 29 days with many touch and go moments and prayers later, Misty was discharged home. Almost 30 years later, Misty is now married to Logan Sharpe and lives in Nashville. She has a passion for CHD as she continues to live with the challenges faced by adults with heart disease. CHD kids are never cured but thanks to medical advancements and research, many kids born with CHD are now living full lives as adults. Through her work with the Adult Congenital Heart Association, she helps educate patients and family members of the need for lifelong, specialized care and advocates for access to care.
Charles Andrew "Drew" Kelley was born on February 9, 1993, the beloved son of Michelle Kelley, much loved grandson of Malcom (Angela) Kelley and Tena (Charlie) Underwood and the awesome nephew of Aunt Kim "Kimmy" and Aunt Misty. Drew was diagnosed with Truncus Arteriosus shortly after birth. He has his first surgery to place a conduit to reroute the circulation in his heart as an infant. Just before age 5, came surgery number two to replace the conduit and repair a leaky aortic valve. Two other surgeries, including an infection in his heart, came at age 16. In every way...except for being small (we called him "runt" sometimes), he was a normal toddler and boy. T-Ball, Cub Scouts, skateboards, drums, PlayStation, music and soccer filled his life. What defined his life though was the amazing way that he looked at life, how he handled adversity, how he always lived in the moment and never missed an opportunity to be a true friend. He was a young man working toward his goals but his life was tragically cut short. On the beautiful afternoon of November 10. 2013, he went to play soccer with friends and had a cardiac event on the field and could not be revived. We were so honored and blessed to have him in our lives for twenty wonderful years. He had been lost to care for just less than two years.
CHD research and programs are severly underfunded compared to CHD's prevalence in the community. In honor of Misty who is now an adult living with CHD and in memory of our beloved son, grandson and nephew who lived courageously with CHD, we thank you for taking the time to read about our personal mission to help in the fight against CHD. A donation of any amount would be very much appreciated. The easiest way to make a contribution is through the website. We would also love to have as many family and friends walk with us on October 30 in Nashville!