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Norwalk Teens Conquering Heart Disease

NHS freshmen help raise funds for American Heart Association

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Norwalk, CT | Added on October 19, 2013 At 01:44 PM

Saturday over 1,000 people at Sherwood Island State Park to raise money for the American Heart Association.

Two of the many who walked Saturday:  Norwalk High School freshmen Gavin Halsey and Abigail Stumpf.  Both have good reason to thank the AHA.

Gavin was born with congenital heart disease.  He had surgery as early as two weeks after his birth.

He says from what he understands, he was "close to death."

Gavin's childhood friend, Abigail, had open heart surgery at age four.  Bacteria had infected her aortic heart valve.

Heart problems so young, and yet there they were Saturday, raising money for the AHA.

"They've helped a lot," Abilgail says.  "They've supported me through everything."

"If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today, like playing drums in the Norwalk High band," Gavin says.  "It's just the best thing."

Wilton's Karen Christensen had heart surgery at age six.  Over 40 years later, she still struggles with heart disease every day.  But she's made it work.

"I want people to realize even though you have heart disease, you can still live your life to the fullest," she says.

Funds raised by Saturday's walk go directly to the American Heart Association.  This year's goal was $283,000.

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