NORTHBROOK, Ill., Oct. 2, 2019 — Chase Hughes, 11, is no stranger to the word “warrior”. Chase is a “heart warrior”; a term used to describe someone living with a congenital heart defect (CHD). Congenital heart defects are America’s most common birth defect. Nearly 40,000 babies are born with a CHD each year in the U.S. and more than 2.4 million Americans are currently living with CHDs.
Chase was born with a CHD called Pulmonary Atresia with Ventricular Septal Defect and had open-heart surgery at 9 days old to patch the hole and repair the valve. He will have another surgery in his mid-teens to adjust the pulmonary valve to his larger heart.
Over the past 3 years, Chase has been doing American Ninja Warrior training and this past summer was selected to compete on the upcoming season of the TV show American Ninja Warrior Junior airing on Universal Kids. Known as the “(W)hole Hearted Ninja”, Chase credits his surgeries and modern day advancements in medicine for allowing him to do his favorite thing in the world – competing as a ninja warrior.
Because of this, Chase and his family have decided to fundraise for continued life-saving congenital heart defect research by participating in The Children’s Heart Foundation’s Congenital Heart Walk series; the nation’s largest walk series dedicated to raising funds for CHD research.
“My ninja and heart warrior name is The (W)hole Hearted Ninja – because I was born with a hole in my heart and I put my whole heart into ninja warrior,” said Hughes. “Raising funds for CHD research is critically important and personally very meaningful to me. Please join us in supporting The Children’s Heart Foundation’s mission!”
Chase and his family are walking in the Portland, St. Louis, and Tampa Congenital Heart Walks, and will participate in the 2020 Chicago Congenital Heart Walk next spring. These fundraising events include a family-friendly walk, research remarks, kids’ activities, games, character actors, refreshments, music, remembrance, and more, all in support of The Children’s Heart Foundation’s mission: to fund the most promising research to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of CHDs.
Visit www.WalkForCHDResearch.org to get started as a fundraising walker, team captain, volunteer, sponsor, or donor. You can also walk anytime, anywhere and help raise funds CHD research by participating in our Virtual Walk.