Meet Ethan in Chicago

Updated:Feb 8,2013

Ethan N KWHMy name is Ethan. I am 7 years old and in 2nd grade. I love playing outside with my friends, especially at the playground! I really like floor hockey and building with Legos as well. My favorite thing to do with my family is to stay in hotels. I have so much fun swimming in the pools there!

I have a congenital heart defect (CHD) called Bicuspid Aortic Valve. My aorta only has two flaps instead of three. Right now, my cardiologist checks me every year to make sure everything is okay. Someday I will probably need open heart surgery. My doctor hopes that by the time I need my surgery, there will be new technology to make it easier.

I am lucky to be able to live a normal life right now. I can run and play all day long if I want to! I am able to do this because I have a great doctor who is able to keep an eye on my CHD. If I lived during another time, I might not be so lucky! I know what I need to do to keep my heart working properly for as long as possible. I know that I need to be careful to stay away from cigarettes, and that I need to eat a very healthy diet.

I’m glad that the American Heart Association raises a lot of money to help people with heart problems like me. I am lucky to live in a time where there is so much research and fundraising being done. The AHA also educates people to learn heart healthy behavior, which is helpful to me because one very bad thing for my CHD is cigarette smoke. When the AHA educates others about cigarettes, it can make the world a less smoky one for me to live in!”