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Local school raises funds for children born with heart defects

WACO, Texas (KWTX) – A local elementary school is incorporating the fight against heart defects in children into its own workouts.

Students and staff at Martin Walker Elementary School in Copperas Cove fundraise with the American Heart Association to help children born with heart defects.

For many students and staff, like Grade 3 student Emerson Turner, this is very touching.

“This fundraiser was fun because we can help save the lives of people with heart problems,” she said.

Turner was born with a rare birth defect of the heart known as Tetralogy of Fallot. She had to undergo open heart surgery to survive.

Today, she hopes to make a difference.

“It really means a lot to me,” she said.

“We used to do things like jump rope because it helps your heart and helps you exercise.”

With the help of her physical education trainer Jennifer Wilson and her classmates, they started creating videos to promote healthy exercise for kids, all asking for donations.

Wilson said especially after her nephew survived heart defects at birth, any chance for her and the students to give back was critical.

“It makes me really proud of all of our students,” she said.

“They have done well this year. Many of them were able to send videos and some of them even sent emails.

There you have it, the fundraiser raised more than $ 6,000. As a bonus, Wilson and the principal were covered in mud by the students.

Regardless of the gooey punishment, Wilson says she takes pride in helping save lives.

“At the start with COVID this year, I thought we weren’t going to raise that much money,” she said.

“So I set a goal of $ 5,000 and then we went over it and it was awesome.”

Anyone interested in donating to fundraising can find more information from the American Heart Association’s website.

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