Running for our Lives

As previously mentioned, I’ll be in Boulder, Colorado for a few days to support my friends in the Denver Metro Chapter of the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA). They’ll be participating in the Bolder Boulder, a 10 Kilometer (slightly over six miles) road race through the streets of Boulder. We’ll raise money for the ACHA and awareness of Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) survivors. I’m not participating in the race because of my low PulseOx readings, but if I were on the course, I’d be crazy enough to wear a T-Shirt with these words printed on the back:

YOU ARE LOSING TO SOMEONE WHO HAS A HEART DEFECT!

But that probably wouldn’t make us any friends and with my luck, I’d finish last!

Last year, Denver Metro was able to field a team that included seven adults with heart defects, and between them they had undergone twelve heart surgeries. Friends, family and neighbors of the twelve survivors were right out there with them. And there were more Funky Hearts who didn’t participate but were cheering from the sidelines.

More and more children born with a heart defect are growing up; a report from the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children estimates that 1,600 British children with bad hearts become adults each year. Doctors are learning how to control arrhythmia in adults better, and the medical community is beginning to recognize that Adult Congenital Cardiac patients need lifelong care, though for years many of us were “lost in the system.”

If you are in the Boulder area over the Memorial Day weekend, keep your eyes open for ACHA T-shirts, and give us a shout out when you see one! We’ll give a shout right back at ya! We hope to have an awareness table, but I can’t tell you where – we won’t know for certain until the events for the week are finalized. But if you see it, stop by and meet the team!

And maybe you are a Funky Heart who’d like to be part of a national organization that works for you, full of people who have been right where you are. You don’t have to live in the Denver/Boulder area; just click HERE to become a member of the Adult Congenital Heart Association. Membership is free, and the benefits are priceless!

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