2021 Southern California Walk for 1 in 100

Showing off my "zipper"! (One scar from some of the surgeries)
Showing off my "zipper"! (One scar from some of the surgeries)

Heart Warrior Strong

Thank you for visiting my Walk for 1 in 100 team page, "Heart Warrior Strong." 1 in 100 babies in the U.S. are born with CHD (congenital heart defect); this is why we walk. 

Most of you already know me and my story, but for those who may not, or those who aren't as familiar with details, I am more than happy to share. I was born with a CHD called tricuspid atresia. This basically means I was born with no tricuspid valve or it was so underdeveloped, it basically wasn't there. I have had multiple open-heart surgeries over the course of my life, including a pacemaker that was put in when I was 12 years old. There is so much emphasis on pediatrics when it comes to CHD, and rightfully so.  However, those children grow up to be adults and we are not "cured." Many times in fact, we grow up and more complications occur. In 2006 I was diagnosed with scoliosis and had surgery; I have two rods and 16 pins in my back. Doctors think that I had so many heart surgeries that my abdominal muscles were weak and over time I developed scoliosis.

Then, more recently, in 2016, I was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver due to the way my heart works. I had what is called the fontan procedure (and fontan revision) as a child but what they didn't know back then is that our livers would be affected. This is why I like the term "Heart Warrior Strong," we will forever be fighters and must stay strong to keep on fighting whatever our CHD throws at us.

This is why my passion lies in adult congenital heart warriors because I now fight other things as an adult due to my defect. I have lived a pretty normal life for the most part, but who knows what will happen 5, 10, 20, or 30 years from now. It is my hope that you can join me in this virtual walk and make a donation that is very close to my heart (ya like that pun there? :P ). No amount is too small, I appreciate any generosity you may be able to give at this time. All funds raised benefit CHD research and programs and are tax deductible.


Thank you! <3

Much love,

Abbs

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