Seeking Kids with Heart

With school back in full swing throughout Indiana, the American Heart Association is seeking local youth who are heart survivors to serve as ambassadors for the organization through a new program called Kids with Heart.

Kids with Heart members will share their story and encourage others to support Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops for Heart, helping the American Heart Association in its mission to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

“Jump Rope For Heart has been teaching kids how to take care of their hearts and helping kids with special hearts for more than 30 years,” said Ann Acosta, youth market director for the American Heart Association. “Many times the students who participate don’t realize that one of their fellow students has been dramatically impacted by heart disease. Bringing these brave young heart hero’s stories to light helps educate the public that heart disease can strike anyone.

Ann added, “The advances that have been made in the area of research and education funded by the American Heart Association are helping us close in on our 2020 goal of a 20 percent reduction in deaths from heart disease and stroke, as well as a 20 percent improvement in the lives of those living with heart disease and stroke. We have much to celebrate as we look into the faces of these brave young kids who now have a chance at a long and healthy life.”

Congenital heart defects are the leading cause of death for infants and affect nearly 1 out of every 125 births. More than 1.4 million Americans are living with a congenital heart defect. In 2010, the American Heart Association committed $9.39 million to fund pediatric heart research.

Students interested in joining Kids with Heart should have their parents contact Ann Acosta at Additional information is also available at

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