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Teach more than 2,500 children how to avoid obesity and live longer.
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Walking for Samantha as well as Frank Kiwak AKA "PopPop" 12/22/1946 - 4/27/2013
Hi! My name is Samantha Kiwak, but my friends call me ďSamĒ. I am 10 years old and Iím going into 5th grade. Some fun things to know about me: I have a special heart; I love to play soccer (and all sports!); my favorite color is purple, blue or green (depending on the day); I like all types animals and when I get older I might want to be a veterinarian; I love all kinds of music; I really enjoy watching the Voice, Cupcake wars and Chopped on the food network.
My parents have told me that I have a ďspecial heartĒ. What makes it special? When I was a baby I had major open heart surgery. On the day that I was born I had my first procedure done and then when I was 7 days old I had my first surgery. I donít think having a special heart is scary because thatís all I know, but I do think that some of tests that I have done are scary. I donít like needles or IVs, but I donít mind the EKG or Echos. I REALLY donít like getting put to sleep for the MRIs or wearing the facemask and nose pinchers when I get my stress tests done. I have been on meds since I was a baby so I am used to taking them. I take 4 oral syringes in the morning and 4 before bed. My friends like to watch me take it.
I donít remember my first surgery because I was just a baby, but my Mom and Dad tell me lots of stories. My mom tells me that my scar is beautiful! My parents tell me that I was in the hospital (CHOP Ė Childrenís Hospital of Philadelphia) for about 2 months (in the CICU Ė Cardiac Intensive Care Unit). I go to CHOP every 6 months to see my cardiologist and have tests done. I know that I need to have at least one more operation, but I donít know when that will be.
I am VERY proud of who I am and I let people know about my heart. I have been the team captain for the annual American Heart Association Philadelphia Heart Walk for the past 10 years and together we have raised over $40,000! Every year our team continues to grow. I love picking out our team shirts and I have an amazing logo thanks to a special and creative family friend.
This year we are also walking in honor of my PopPop who was taken from us way too soon due to heart disease.
My PopPop was known for his love of sports, specifically the New York Yankees; his gardening; his mastery in the kitchen, especially his soup, and for his caring and sensitive nature. He was passionate about his pool, golf and the beach. He was an avid reader and usually had multiple books going at one time. My PopPop adored all of his granddaughters, and we idolized him.
PopPop was very loving and compassionate and extremely proud of his family and loved each of us unconditionally (we love and miss him dearly).
Thank you for your unconditional support!!! XOXO