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The 2014 Johnson County Heart Walk

October 4, 2014

Congratulations to all contest winners: Tina Werneke, Tara Carlyle, Craig Hibdon, Melanie Smith, Gina Carlyle, Gabby Luebbert, Carly Joyner, Alex Hutchison, Dodee Matthews and Terri Bradley!

Meet Hayden Gates

Hayden Isaac Gates was born on February 5th, 2003, to Damon and Cassie Gates of Warrensburg, MO. Months before his birth, we were told that Hayden had a rare genetic disorder that caused severe heart impairment and many other anomalies that would make his life expectancy less than a day after birth. Therefore, we planned for the worst—a life without our son. However, on that snowy Wednesday evening, Hayden came to this world kicking and screaming. The physicians immediately knew the prenatal diagnosis was incorrect and worked diligently to identify the true cause of Hayden’s medical issues. Soon after, Hayden was diagnosed with Ellis Van Creveld Syndrome, a skeletal disorder that has a high prevalence in the Amish population. In the general population, it is very rare but is often characterized by heart defects, abnormal bone structure, and weak hair, skin, teeth and nail development.

Hayden falls in the more than 50% of those with EVC that suffer from a serious heart defect. Thus, began his long journey of cardiac failure, open-heart surgeries, and delayed early development. Read more...

The American Heart Association is the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. These diseases, the Nation's No.1 and No.4 killers, claim more than 813,804 American lives a year. Thanks to all our walkers, donors and volunteers who have accepted the challenge to help fight heart disease and stroke. We cannot achieve our mission without each one of you!

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Special Thanks to:
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