Two little hearts drew a big reception recently at the American Heart Association’s annual Greater Washington Heart Ball.
The Face of Heart honorees were Abigail Harris, 5, and brother Colby Harris, 2, along with parents Colin and Stephanie Harris. Both children were born with the same heart defect and benefited from research that focuses on congenital heart defects funded by the America Heart Association.
“My family is here tonight because lightning truly did strike us twice,” Colin Harris said at the black-tie event on Feb. 24. “However, thanks to our amazing medical teams, and thanks to modern research advances led by the American Heart Association, here we are, with these two healthy, beautiful kids.”
The ball drew 400 guests and featured cocktails, dinner, dancing, silent and live auctions and an appearance by special guest Vernon Davis of the Washington Redskins.
“It is because of events like the Heart Ball that the AHA is able to give over $4 billion in research over the last 91 years,” said Heart Ball and AHA board Chairman Rob Franklin of Goodseeker.com. “Countless lives have been saved, and we need to push on to continue to save lives and help families, like the Harris family, to improve the health of future generations.”
The funds raised by the Heart Ball go toward cardiovascular research as well as local community outreach and education efforts around heart disease, stroke and the effects of childhood obesity. Research funded by the association has led to numerous scientific breakthroughs including artificial valves.
CPR, clot-busting drugs, pacemakers, angioplasty, bypass surgery and medications to control high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Supporters can continue donating to AHA’s mission.