Join hundreds of families and heart warriors at the 2019 Denver Congenital Heart Walk.

The Congenital Heart Walk series is the primary fundraising program that benefits The Children's Heart Foundation, and it strives to raise funds to advance "the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital heart defects (CHDs)." And because of the efforts of the series and the funding raised, there have been significant improvements for CHD patients, including increased survival, longevity, and quality of life. It's been estimated that there are between two and three million Americans living with CHDs, and they are not only living happier lives, but longer and healthier ones.

Sponsored by several sponsors—Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (platinum sponsor), PIN Business Network (silver sponsor), and Children's Hospital Colorado (bronze sponsor)—this year's series will be held in 20 cities across the U.S., including Denver.

"Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children is proud to be the title sponsor for this year’s Denver Congenital Heart Walk," said Anna Davis, Vice President at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. "We continue to invest in the growth of our congenital heart program and are thrilled to support our community by supporting important awareness events while also providing exceptional care. The congenital heart program at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children unlocks possibilities while caring for patients with congenital heart conditions – from infancy to adulthood – all on one hospital campus, here in the heart of Denver."

The 2019 Denver Congenital Heart Walk will be held on September 22 at the Denver Zoo. So grab your family, your friends, your coworkers, and let's help The Children's Heart Foundation make a difference, one step at a time.

2019 Denver Congenital Heart Walk

When: September 22, 8:30–11:30 a.m.
Where: Denver Zoo, 2300 Steel Street
Register to Walk or Donate

denver congenital heart walk, little girl, walking

Provided by The Children's Heart Foundation, Photo by Jake Pakosta Photography

In addition to the walk itself, participants can also enjoy various family-friendly activities, like face painting and games, as well as special guests, food and other refreshments, and much more. For this fundraiser, participants are required to raise or donate a minimum of $15, and that allows guests to enjoy Denver Zoo for the rest of the day! Keep in mind that this is a requirement for all guests over the age of 2.

For more details on the 2019 Denver Congenital Heart Walk, including how you can donate, become a sponsor, and/or start a team, please click here.

Our Community Now will be attending this year's walk to support of Jaxson's Journey, and if you can't make it, please consider donating to our team. Every little bit helps us reach our goal!

What Are Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs)?

According to The Children's Heart Foundation, CHDs are the United States' most common birth defects, ultimately affecting nearly 40,000 babies every year—that's one child every 15 minutes. CHDs come in different types and with various degrees of severity.

congenital heart defect statistics

Courtesy of The Children's Heart Foundation

"As medical care and treatment have advanced, thanks to research, infants with CHDs are living longer and healthier lives. Many children with CHDs are now living into adulthood. It is estimated that more than two million individuals in the United States are living with a CHD," states the foundation's website. "Even with improved treatments, people with CHDs are not cured, even if their heart defect has been repaired. People with a CHD can develop other health problems over time, depending on their specific heart defect, the number of heart defects they have, and the severity of their heart defect."

The foundation notes that it's important for those with CHDs regularly visit their doctors and get check-ups.

The Children's Heart Foundation

Founded by Betsy and Steve Peterson, The Children's Heart Foundation was created in honor of their son, Sam, who was born with CHDs and died at the age of 8—doctors could not explain why he'd collapsed so suddenly or why he'd been born with CHDs.

"If Sam had been born 20 years earlier, he wouldn't have survived even a day after his birth," states the foundation's website. "During his short life, Sam proved that modern technology could conquer congenital heart defects, if only for a while."

Recognizing there was no organization solely dedicated to funding CHD research, the Petersons created The Children's Heart Foundation, which consisted of friends and colleagues, as well as leading medical professionals. The foundation has raised approximately $11.5 million for more than 100 research grants since it was first established in 1996. The foundation’s research priorities span the full range of needs for CHD patients, including diagnostics, prevention, less invasive surgical procedures, interventional and transitional care, and developmental and mental health, among others.

To learn more about The Children's Heart Foundation, click here.

The following video goes into more detail about CHDs, as well as delves into The Children's Heart Foundation's mission:

Courtesy of The Children's Heart Foundation

Have you participated in the annual Denver Congenital Heart Walk before? Will we see you at this year's event at the Denver Zoo? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments below.