MINNEAPOLIS, May 8, 2023 - When Amanda Marx was five years old, a kindergarten screening revealed she needed emergency heart surgery. It turns out the heart murmur she was diagnosed with at birth was actually a much more serious congenital heart defect.
One open-heart surgery and three decades later, Marx is participating in the Twin Cities Heart Walk on May 20, 2023, at Target Field. The Heart Walk is the signature fundraising event hosted by the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all.
“Due to the medical advancements that the American Heart Association and others have invested in, I was able to have my heart repaired and live a ‘normal’ life,” said Marx, nurse educator at ZOLL Respicardia and volunteer with the American Heart Association. “I walk so they can continue to invest in medical research and resources that will help other children with congenital heart defects.”
This year’s Heart Walk theme is “I Walk to Save Lives,” inviting participants to express, share and be inspired by the reasons why they walk.
Thousands of walkers will come together at Target Field to celebrate heart and stroke survivors, honor those they have lost, raise lifesaving funds and encourage heart healthy habits. The Walk will feature Hands-Only CPR demonstrations, the T-Shirt Strut, a mascot race and the Survivor Lane, a moment to celebrate the strength of participating survivors before they cross the finish line.
Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death for Americans respectively, and nearly 1 in 100 children in the United States are born with a congenital heart defect each year.
“The six-inch scar that is prominent on my chest reminds me every day how grateful I am to the American Heart Association,” Marx said. “They helped save my life 30 years ago and have been a part of countless others’ happy-ending stories.”
Visit TwinCitiesHeartWalk.org to register for the 2023 Twin Cities Heart Walk. The funds raised will support the American Heart Association’s mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.
The event is supported locally by Medtronic, Canadian Pacific, Abbott, Inspire Medical Systems, Integer and Mortenson.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
 The American Heart Association. (2023, January 25). Heart disease and stroke Statistics—2023 update: A report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000001123
 The American Heart Association. (2022, March 22). Understanding your risk for congenital heart defects. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/congenital-heart-defects/understand-your-risk-for-congenital-heart-defects