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Heartfelt walk in Depot

Participants in the Michigan Congenital Heart Walk help to raise money in downtown Clarkston. Photos submitted (click for larger version)
October 09, 2013 - About 1,000 people gathered in Depot Park, Sept. 29, for the Michigan Congenital Heart Walk.

Families from across Michigan walked through Clarkston in honor of children and adults born with congenital heart disease, raising $100,000 for medical research and support for survivors, setting a new campaign record for the Congenital Heart Walks.

Michigan is one of 25 Congenital Heart Walk sites across the country and the first to raise $100,000.

"We are thrilled that so many families joined us for the Congenital HeartWalk this was our largest turnout to date. I'm just in awe of their motivation and passion," said Sally Powers, walk co-chair and president of Children's Heart Foundation Michigan Chapter.

"The walk is also a chance for families impacted by CHD from all over the state to come together, raise awareness and support one another. It was an inspiring day."

In its fourth year, the walk is a joint effort between the Adult Congenital Heart Association and The Children's Heart Foundation.

Guest speaker Keri Urquhart, nurse educator from the Michigan Department of Community Health, said Michigan would officially become the 32nd state to mandate pulse oximetry screening on all newborns for critical congenital heart defects beginning April 1, 2014.

Guest speaker Kevin Gordon, board member for the Adult Congenital Heart Association, talked about the need for better medical care and services for adults living with the disease.

The event also included music, family entertainment food and refreshments, and awards for the top fundraisers and most spirited teams.

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