This year’s Feel the Beat is right around the corner! For the next few weeks, we’ll be giving you a sneak-peak of our guest speakers, agenda, and activities. Be sure to follow us on social media for more details!
Naomi is a 17-year-old ballerina in training who was born with HLHS and is currently training year-round at Western New York Ballet in Rochester, NY. Naomi will be a high school senior this year, and hopes to join a company as a full-time ballet dancer after graduation and become the first professional dancer with a heart condition. Earlier this year, her school competed in the Youth America Grand Prix and received first place in the ensemble division.
Naomi was diagnosed with HLHS 48 hours after birth, but that hasn’t stopped her from accomplishing her dreams. She enrolled in her first ballet class as a toddler, performed in her first “Nutcracker” when she was 7, and just loves being on stage. When Naomi is not training or studying, she enjoys drawing, reading, and hanging out with friends.
Kelly is Naomi’s mother and biggest fan! She has encouraged Naomi throughout her journey to accomplish her dreams. Kelly and Naomi’s father, Tony, live in Naples, FL. Kelly is a stay-at-home mom and serves on the Board of Directors for an orphanage in Haiti, where she visits several times a year. In addition to traveling, Kelly loves music and animals.
Naomi will also do a special performance at the end of the day! We look forward to seeing you on October 12 – be sure to RSVP if you haven’t already!
Meet other people talking about HLHS or CHD on Mayo Clinic Connect – an online community designed to help patients and families connect with each other. Our community is a safe space to share experiences, ask questions, find answers, and exchange support. The discussion groups and topic pages are moderated to ensure that all posts are respectful, and Mayo Clinic Connect never sells or shares posted information to third parties. Here are some you might like to follow:
The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a collaborative network of specialists bonded by the vision of finding solutions for individuals affected by congenital heart defects including HLHS. Our 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. Email us atHLHS@mayo.edu to learn more.