Tulsa Sweetheart Run Helps Kids With Heart Disease

Friday, February 18th 2011, 3:59 pm
By: News On 6

By Carrie Netherton, 918Moms.com

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The month of February is dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease.

It's the number one killer among women, but it affects people of all ages. Saturday's "Sweetheart Run" is dedicated to helping "younger" victims. It benefits "CHAMP Camp," a special camp that is making a difference for an 8-year-old who's dealing with the disease.

Meet Faith Baldwin.

"God given name, no doubt about that one."

That's because doctors did not expect her to live long, according to her mother, Kandy.

"We were told before she was born that she wasn't even going to be here," says Kandy. "Now she's 8-years-old and you wouldn't even know anything was wrong with her."

Faith was born without a right ventricle. She's had three surgeries, including two open-heart surgeries.

"It's been a test of Faith, but we had to trust that our doctor knew what he was doing and she was going to be okay," Kandy says. "The top half of her heart and her lungs work harder."

Like many girls her age, Faith likes riding her bike and having fun with her family, including two older sisters who have no heart problems.

Faith says she doesn't feel any different and doesn't even mind having the heart defect. "Well, I really like to be really special."

Every year, Faith and her sisters go to CHAMP Camp, which stands for Children with Heart Abnormalities Have Much Potential. It's a place where kids and their siblings can be with others like them. About 60 kids attend each year. Faith says she gets to do crafts, swim and sing lots of songs.

"I like to jump off the tower into the pond," she says.

"I don't have to worry about anything happening. I know there is medical treatment there if need be. She's safe, it's great."

The heart defect doesn't slow Faith down. She does everything any other kid her age would do -- her mom says probably even more.

"She has a lot of energy and she will push the buttons."

Fleet Feet is sponsoring the "Sweetheart Run" and proceeds from the event will benefit CHAMP Camp. The race was postponed from February 12th, due to the weather. Participants can run in a 5K, 10K or 20K course. 

Sweetheart Run
Saturday, February 19th
Mohawk Park
$25 Entry Fee
$30 Race Day
5K, 10K, 20K courses
5 km run - 8:15 a.m.
10 km run - 9:15 a.m.
20 km run - 9:15 a.m.