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American Heart Association raises $550,000 in Capital Area Heart Walk

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BATON ROUGE - Every year the American Heart Association brings people together to walk for their heart health. Saturday marks the 100th anniversary of the association working to build longer, healthier lives. With more than 3,000 walkers, the event raised $550,000. 

Heart disease is the number one killer for Americans. It claims more lives in the U.S. than all forms of Cancer and Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases combined. 

For Ashley Davis, it's not just another year of being an advocate. It's now a tradition to celebrate her little survivor, Jaycei. At five months pregnant, Davis found out that her daughter was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

HLHS is a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. As the baby develops during pregnancy, the left side of the heart does not form correctly. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is one type of congenital heart defect.

Congenital heart defects affect nearly one percent of births per year in the country. About one in four babies with a critical CHD will have to undergo surgery within the first year after birth. 

For this five-year-old, she is set to have her last heart surgery this summer. They expect to return for next year's Heart Walk, ready to take the lead at the front of the starting line once again.

For anyone looking to donate to AHA or are interested in starting a team for next year's Heart Walk, click here. 

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