Courageous Boy Born with Half a Heart – Shows He’s All Heart – as He and His Family Host Fundraiser Sept. 18

Members of a South Mississippi family with struggles of their own, are putting aside their own challenges, and stepping up to join in the fight against one of America’s top killers – heart disease.

Blake Etter is not even three years old yet, but he has overcome adversities most adults never have to face in life. Born with only half a heart, due to a little-known condition known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, or HLHS, little Blake has undergone two open heart surgeries and two cath procedures in the short two-and-half years he’s lived. He will need another cath, and another open heart surgery when he is about four years old.

Although Blake’s condition has been tough, especially on his parents, dad Chris Etter, and mom Rachel, they all, including Blake’s fraternal twin brother, Bryce, have grown stronger as a family as they stick together and encourage one another. Not a day goes by that Rachel doesn’t look at her son and know he is a walking miracle. She says 30 years ago, little Blake would not have been able to survive, but because of research, technology and other developments, many funded by the American Heart Association, Blake is still going strong and enjoys his young life like others around him, including his twin brother Bryce, who could be mistaken as his identical twin.

The Etters are putting their own struggles aside and stepping up to help in the fight against heart disease, one of the top killers of American men, women and children. On
Tuesday, September 18, the family is holding a fundraiser with proceeds going to the American Heart Association. It will be held at Texas Roadhouse, an event sponsor, located at 15510 Daniel Boulevard, in Gulfport, Mississippi, from 4 to 10 p.m. Ten percent of total food purchases will be donated to the American Heart Association, along with any donations anyone would like to make at the fundraising event. The Etters encourage everyone to come out, even if it’s just to find support or share encouragement.

This fundraiser at Texas Roadhouse precedes the American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk in South Mississippi, scheduled this year, for Sat., Sept. 22, beginning at Jones park in Gulfport at 7:30 a.m.

Rachel, Chris and the boys say they look forward to Tuesday’s fundraiser and meeting new people. “Thanks to funds for research, and incredible doctors, science and more, my son is thriving,” Rachel says.

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