Jump Rope for Heart has a special meaning for a 9 year old Glenpool boy

Wednesday, January 19th 2005, 10:46 am
By: News On 6

About 40,000 kids are born with heart defects every year. Some go undetected for years. It's a problem one Glenpool 3rd-grader wants to do something about. So he's jumping rope for heart, because his big sister can’t.

News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims has his story.

Jump Rope for Heart is different this year for Glenpool Elementary School. They've got the ropes and the music, but they're missing a jumper. 3rd-grader Steven Love's big sister, Katelynn.

Steven’s mom Darla Love: "She loved doing Jump Rope for Heart." Katelynn was Katie to her brother and sisters. Healthy, happy and loved by many. The 11 year old was racing with her sister last year, when all of a sudden, she collapsed. Darla Love: "We thought she was playing at first and then we started CPR and called 911 and got to the hospital and they told us it was it, which she'd passed away.”

The girl who had jumped rope for heart every year she attended Glenpool Elementary School died from a heart beat irregularity. Darla Love: "we had no clues no signs no nothing we even took Katie to the doctor on January the 2nd and they did not say she had any problems or anything."

9-year-old Steven is the youngest and the tragedy has hit him pretty hard. Steven’s father Steven Love: "where one played the other played I would say they are as close as you would want a brother and sister to be." With the one-year anniversary of Katie's death looming, her little brother has taken up her ropes and her cause, jumping just like his sister taught him.

Steven Love says he won't lay down his rope until he's raised $1,000, for Katie. The whole family has gotten behind him and everyone is doing their part to try to raise awareness. Darla Love: "And we been asking everybody to donate for this cause so parents can be aware to get their kids tested for heart problems, especially if you have heart problems in your family."

The Love family says if they can spare just one family their pain, it would be worth it.