Jasmine Winning is barely a year old, and yet she has been through more than most will in a lifetime.
Jasmine was born with half a heart, a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. She spent the first several months of her life fighting to live, and she has undergone two open-heart surgeries to temporarily fix her heart defect.
Today, Jasmine is thriving and will be celebrating her first birthday with family and friends at the American Heart Association’s Santa Clarita Heart Walk on Oct. 10 at Bridgeport Park in Valencia.
“Unfortunately, there is no cure yet for Jasmine’s condition,” said Jasmine’s mom, Joanna Joshua. “Doctors say she has a 33-percent chance of making it to age 4, and a 100-percent chance of getting a heart transplant at some point in the future.
“We’re participating in the Heart Walk to give my daughter and other children like her a fighting chance by raising funds to help find a cure for congenital heart defects and other heart diseases.”
Yolanda Chartan will be participating in the Heart Walk in honor of her son Cameron, who died of a sudden cardiac arrest three years ago. Cameron was only 24 when his heart stopped from an undiagnosed heart condition.
“Together with my family and friends, I will be walking for Cameron and in support of efforts to ensure that no other parent will have to lose a child before their time,” Yolanda said.
The annual Heart Walk brings the community together to raise funds in support of heart disease and stroke research, community education outreach and related work in Santa Clarita and the rest of Los Angeles County. Local companies and community teams raise funds throughout the summer and come together to celebrate at the walk.
Everyone is invited to join in the fun and form a team with family, friends or coworkers and sign up on www.HeartWalkLA.org.
The family-friendly event, sponsored nationally by Subway and locally by Union Bank, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Princess Cruises and St. Jude Medical Center, includes a non-competitive 5K walk-run and a festival area featuring music, interactive and fun activities, health information, Kids Zone and more.
In addition to Santa Clarita, walks will take place in Pasadena on Sept. 26, Long Beach on Oct. 3 and Palmdale on Nov. 7. The combined fundraising goal for the four walks is $2 million.
Heart disease and stroke are the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. Congenital heart defects are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths in the United States. About 40,000 infants are born with congenital heart defects each year in the U.S.
The American Heart Association’s goal is to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from heart disease, stroke, congenital heart defects and other cardiovascular diseases by 20 percent by the year 2020.
For more information and to register for the Santa Clarita Heart Walk, visit www.HeartWalkLA.org, or contact Amanda Naughton at 213-291-7102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.