5/16/2012 10:48 AM
By Kim Edgren
Back in 2008, I headed off to Philadelphia to the ACHA National Conference with my partner Karen and our good friend Joan. This was my first conference and I knew a few minutes in it would not be my last. We had a great time, between the silent auction, the gala, and meeting new people both at the workshops and after. On the drive home we talked about wanting to do more—raise some money for this great organization. Maybe a big fundraising party or walk.
And then we got home. Life went on. Nothing got planned.
Fast forward to 2011. I had already registered to attend the World Forum on Early Care and Education in Hawaii and thought, “L.A. is on the way,” so off we went to ACHA’s Sixth Annual Conference. Again, a great time was had. But this time, there was a little roundtable on the Congenital Heart Walk. Karen actually attended; I headed over to the Lobby Day table. But we both were very excited to finally do something to raise some funding.
And, you know, we got home. But this time, after a little detour and a few months, I sent the email: I would like to find out some more information on being involved with the walk. Next thing I knew, I was chairing a committee of great people and looking for a location to bring the Congenital Heart Walk to Boston!
Never did I imagine doing something like this—and after last year, never thought I would physically be up to the task. But that is the thing—you have to imagine and you have to try. Our community doesn’t have a makeup giant behind us or yogurt labels to save. But we do have a lot of committed people who want to do what they can, in any way, to support, educate and fund CHD.
As of last Friday, the 2012 Congenital Heart Walks across the country had raised almost $270,000 and it is only May!! ACHA and CHF have given us opportunity and we are succeeding due to the hard work of parents, patients, doctors, nurses, friends and countless others who asked for money on our behalf, donated their services and time and gathered on walk days to show our numbers.
I am extremely proud of our committee and team leaders in Boston for all their hard work. I know that it wasn’t easy to do but we did! Our day was beautiful, fun and shared by great people, young and old. And I suspect, like me, they will all be there for 2013!
So if you haven’t already, take the first step and get involved with the Congenital Heart Walks in any way you can. I can’t guarantee it will always be easy but I can almost guarantee you will love every minute of it.
A note from ACHA: We hope you will register for a Congenital Heart Walk in your city today! Click here for more information on remaining dates, as well as registration links.
Kim Edgren was born in 1966 with transposition of the great arteries, pulmonary stenosis and ventricular septal defect. She recently became the proud owner of a Melody valve! When she is not trying her hand at writing she is busy spending time with her partner and three girls, managing her two child care centers and planning her next vacation.