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Thu, Aug 31 8:42am

HLHS Feel the Beat 2017: Brenton Ball and Erin Borkowski

By Suzanne Ferguson, @suzannerferguson

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The theme for Feel the Beat 2017 is ‘inspiration,’ and we’re planning a terrific slate of speakers for it.  You’ll hear from inspiring HLHSers, parents, and doctors on October 14. (If you can’t attend in person, make sure you head over to Facebook to watch a live broadcast.)

Here are two of the guest speakers joining us this year. Check back next week to find out who else will be speaking and don't forget to register!

Brenton Ball

Brenton, an HLHS Heart Warrior, is a strong advocate for the congenital heart defect community. He was born in 1990 in Carroll, Iowa with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (mitral valve atresia, hypoplastic aorta, coarctation of the aorta, hypoplastic left ventricle and multiple VSDs).

He has had multiple surgeries including banding of his pulmonary artery, shunt replacement, modified Fontan procedure and 3 pacemaker surgeries.

Brenton graduated from culinary arts school with a degree in hotel and restaurant management in 2012. He enjoys cooking at home and working at a local hotel.

Brenton recently celebrated his one year wedding anniversary with his wife Kelsey.

Erin Borkowski

Erin lives in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania with her husband Justin, daughter Bella and son Justin.  As Bella’s mom and the co-founder and CEO of Beats for Bella, she works diligently to increase awareness of congenital heart defects and HLHS by sharing Bella’s story.

Along with a tremendous support system of family and friends, Erin, together with many volunteers, runs events to raise money for CHD and HLHS research.  Since its inception in February of 2014, Beats for Bella has raised over $100,000 to support CHD research, and has been featured in the local news and local print media.

Through Beats for Bella, Erin is committed to supporting the most promising advancements in research so that the future for CHD warriors continues to be bright.  In addition, Erin sits on the board for Mended Little Hearts Philadelphia Region.  MLH strives to provide support for local families who have a child with a congenital heart defect through programs within the cardiac unit at the local children’s hospitals.

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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. To learn more or to participate in the research, email HLHS@mayo.edu and follow the HLHS program on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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