Every step counts: HeartKids’ Two Feet & A Heartbeat returns to shine a spotlight on congenital and childhood-acquired heart disease
Two Feet & A Heartbeat is back bigger than ever in 2023. The symbolic four-kilometre walk is an annual event organised by HeartKids, taking place on Sunday 15 October 2023 to commemorate the four lives lost to congenital heart disease (CHD) in Australia each week.
This poignant tribute not only raises awareness for CHD, but it also brings together HeartKids families from various locations across the country to celebrate the lives of heart kids while remembering heart angels, children who have tragically lost their fight against CHD.
Lesley Jordon, CEO, HeartKids, said, “Having dedicated my life to children’s health and welfare, the Two Feet & A Heartbeat event is close to my heart. With an anticipated 3,000 Australians diagnosed with CHD this year, the significance of community and support stands unrivalled.”
The HeartKids community is rich with diversity, and HeartKids is thrilled to collaborate with a dedicated group of ambassadors, including everyday families and recognisable media figures, all of whom share a bond through their experiences with CHD.
HeartKids families from across Australia have opened their hearts and shared their own personal CHD journeys. Their stories range from the challenges and triumphs of raising a heart kid, the joy of seeing their heartkids grow into strong and inspiring teens and adults, to poignant memories of precious heart angels that have passed yet touched the lives of countless others. Their narratives will undoubtedly resonate with many other families nationwide.
Ambassadors include Hayley Raso (Matildas), Kennedy Cherrington (Parramatta Eels), Simon Reeve (media presenter), Adam Densten (Gogglebox), and Gyton Grantley (actor), who not only lend their voices to this cause, but also share their deeply personal CHD stories.
This year’s campaign aims to rally 4,500 participants with a fundraising goal of $350,000 across each of the events nationally. Funds raised will directly assist HeartKids in its mission to provide increased support to families navigating the challenges of CHD. Over the past year alone, HeartKids has facilitated 1,700 check-in calls to individuals, extended assistance to more than 870 families in hospital environments, and offered direct financial help to over 218 families.
Money raised through the walk goes back into the community through HeartKids, including delivering in-hospital and family support programs, camps for children and young people living with CHD, and hosting vital education days and peer support programs to help families cope with the significant impact of the disease.
Lesley Jordon said, “It’s heartwarming to witness the level of commitment and dedication our community showcases. In recent years, the organisation has grown, building on the energy and engagement of families and ambassadors alike. I’d like to assure everyone that HeartKids will continue its journey to improve the lives of those with CHD and their families.”
HeartKids invites everyone to participate in the Two Feet & A Heartbeat event. Whether joining a walk in one of the major cities or participating virtually with loved ones in your local area, every step you take will make a difference.
To register for Two Feet & A Heartbeat, visit https://www.twofeetheartbeat.org.au