Thanks to All Who Made Our Second Annual Feel the Beat a Success!

Dec 8, 2014 | Suzanne Ferguson | @suzannerferguson

Thank you to all who attended the second annual Feel the Beat at Mayo Clinic! It was great to see so many excited and smiling faces of the people who are helping to make a difference in the HLHS community.

The theme of our fun-filled day was hope. Here at the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome we are using science to turn hope into real possibilities for the future. Of course, none of this would even be possible without help from people like you. Without your contributions to research and commitments to this effort, we wouldn’t be able to make advancements to delay and even prevent heart transplants.

We had quite the turnout this year despite the below average temperatures! (Did we mention that it snowed only a few days later?) The event started off as HLHS families gathered and had a chance to connect during the registration. We then held a beautiful remembrance ceremony to honor our HLHS angels who are no longer with us. Next, we kicked off the event with an introduction to our research program which included a panel discussion featuring our scientists who are using cutting-edge research to make breakthroughs in today’s current HLHS treatments.

NeighborhoodThe morning concluded with high energy as the hands-on science fair began, the FTB 2014 PROOFS 2dance-off courage challenge was initiated, and the neighborhood representatives exhibited all that Rochester has to offer. Weren't the dogs from Caring Canines so adorable and well behaved?


NickAfter a scrumptious lunch, we offered three breakout sessions to choose from: an Susan and Jasonexciting kids’ movie that packed the auditorium, a parent-led discussion allowing families to share experiences and advice, and a heart-to-heart session with the HLHS team members. Ending Feel the Beat on a high note, our closing ceremony featured four guest speakers: Jason and Susan Smith, an extraordinary couple from the Emerson Rose Heart Foundation; Nick Zerwas, a state representative and congenital heart disease inspiration; and Meghan Roswick, a vivacious 23 year old who has never let HLHS stop her from living life to the fullest. Meg

A film crew from the Silent Cries documentary, a film raising awareness for congenital heart disease, especially hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), also attended our second annual Feel the Beat event. We are so thankful they came and put together a great segment featuring highlights from the day. Check it out below!


Thanks again to all who joined us for Feel the Beat! We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did, and we can’t wait to see you next year!


The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a collaborative network of specialists bonded by the vision of delaying or preventing heart failure for individuals affected by congenital heart defects including HLHS. The specialized team is addressing the various aspects of these defects by using research and clinical strategies ranging from basic science, to diagnostic imaging to regenerative therapies.

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