This morning I had the privilege of walking a few miles with Liberty Bundy outside of Silverton, OR. Ten year old Liberty is walking 50 miles with her mother, Leigha, and is asking 50 people to give her $50 to help raise awareness of Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHD) and raise funds for the AHA. Liberty is taking on this challenge in support of her friend, Rachel, who was born with a CCHD and sadly suffers several complications from her diagnosis.
Since her birth, Rachel has endured three open-heart surgeries, severe reflux, developmental delays, epilepsy and learning disabilities but is also, in her mom’s words, “the energetic, exasperating, loving, and stubborn 10-year-old that she was meant to be”.
Rachel and Liberty and their mothers will be joining us on Feb 28th for AHA’s lobby day. One of our top policy priorities is a bill that would screen all newborns in Oregon for heart defects. The pulse oximetry test is non-invasive and inexpensive (CDC estimates the cost to be ~ $5-10). We think every baby should have the best possible chance at life. We hope you can meet us at lobby day to hear their story and to share your own.
To support Liberty’s fundraising efforts, click here.
- Stephanie Tama-Sweet, Oregon Government Relations Director