A journey towards heart health

When I was born with a heart murmur, I was quickly diagnosed with Aortic Stenosis- a narrowing of the Aortic Valve. After being closely followed throughout my childhood years, I was always told that I would one day have to have my Aortic Valve replaced. It was quite scary. 

As I got older, I began to manage my condition myself. I was always so relieved to hear the words "how about if we see you in a year" and that I could return in 1 year (to me that meant ~3 years) for another checkup. In 2019 at the age of 47 I was reminded by my father in-law that it was time to go for another visit. He asked me to visit the cardiologist as a gift for the upcomming Christmas- to HIM! What he didn't know was that he was actually giving me a gift. 

My cardiologist asked that I complete a 'stress test' and upon reading the results, referred me to a surgeon to evaluate intervention. Neither the surgeon, my cardiologist or 3 other doctors who offered second opinions felt that there was anything to question.... I needed to have my valve replaced. 

On 8/12/20 I was fortunate to have my Aortic Valve replaced by Dr. Jim Sands in Orlando. Through his amazing talent and the grace of our God, I survived and have an OnX Mechanical Aortic Valve  https://www.cryolife.com/products/on-x-heart-valves/ . This valve (and the entire process) has inspired my life and all the amazing things that I want to accomplish. 

Since finishing Cardiac Rehab on 1/1/21, I've run over 1500 miles (5k each morning WOOOOO!) and approach each day as an opportunity to live and cherrish all that is fantastic about this world. 

My son also has Aortic Stenosis and has been very carefully followed by the amazing Boston Children's Hospital. Through the care of Dr. Gerald Marx, he has avoided surgery just as I did. One day, he too will likely have his Aortic Valve replaced. 

We are very passionate about heart health and as such, I can't imagine a better charity than the Children's Heart Foundation as a theme for my 50th birthday. I ask that you consider a donation. I also humbly ask that you take a minute to reflect on all that is good in this world and to take one more step in accomplishing what you were sent here to do. God has a plan for YOU and each day is a blessing... it's an opportunity to take one step forward in that purpose. 


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The Children's Heart Foundation Mission

The Children's Heart Foundation was founded in 1996 and is the country's leading organization solely dedicated to funding congenital heart defect (CHD) research. 

Our mission is to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital heart defects by funding the most promising research.

My Supporters

  • Kimberly Hayes Happy to donate! Happy birthday, Clay!! March 2023 $25.00
  • Facebook Donor March 2023 $25.00
  • Facebook Donor February 2023 $250.00
  • Bill Giglio February 2023 $103.00
  • Andreas Wieman February 2023 $260.00
  • David Cardell February 2023 $550.00
  • Michael Kara February 2023 $500.00
  • Andreas Wieman February 2023 $260.00
  • Carol Kemp February 2023 $257.50
  • Timothy Blank February 2023 $257.50





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