Giving childhood heart disease the boot

4 November 2019|Sport| Off Comments off on Giving childhood heart disease the boot|

HEARTKIDS teen George Clarke put on his boots and lined up in the goal square at full forward during a charity football match to raise funds for teenagers affected by congenital/childhood heart disease (CHD) to attend a special HeartKids Teen Camp in January.

The charity football match was held on 2 November with a red team facing off against a blue team at the St Virgil’s College football ground.

HeartKids is a charity organisation that helps families and children that are living with CHD.

“HeartKids is all about supporting the children, parents, siblings, uncles and aunties,” George said

George, who organised the match, said football was a way to bring the community together, while also raising money for a good cause.

“It was a good way to connect with other people and have that banter and a bit of fun,” he said.

“There was still a serious note about it, and that was that we were doing it for the families and children that are suffering from CHD, including myself.”

George has suffered from a heart condition called mitral stenosis, where the mitral valve in his heart is narrow and restricts the flow of blood.

“I’ve had six open heart surgeries – my first one when I was eight days old and my most recent in 2012 when I was 11, so I’ve been pretty lucky,” George said.

“Eight babies are born a day with CHD and it is also the leading cause of death for infants – the support and awareness for this is very much needed.

“I know there’s a few friends of mine that played in this game that didn’t know much about it at all until I told them.”

The money raised from the game will go towards the HeartKids Teen Camp, which will be held in Ballarat, Victoria in January.

“We bring teenagers from all across the country to connect with other HeartKids, so they know there are other people out there who are suffering from the same thing,” George said.

“I call them my family, my brothers and sisters, and it’s really good to have people that understand what you’re going through.

“HeartKids have been amazing with my family – they’ve always given help and have just been amazing.”

People donated to the cause through the Everyday Hero pages that were set up for each team, and the side that raised the most money before the first bounce got to pick which side they were going to kick to.

Money was also raised through a raffle that was drawn after the game.

For more information about HeartKids, visit https://heartkids.org.au.

Caption: HeartKids teen George Clarke organised a charity football match to raise funds for people suffering with congenital/childhood heart disease, including himself. Inset, baby George.

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