ONLY ON 13: Local family jumping rope to save lives

(WEAU) - Many of us know the famous quote from the Wizard of Oz, "If I only had a heart." But what if you have one and it doesn't work the way it should?

One family from Stanley is seeing this first hand in their 4-year-old son named LaShawn. He has Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means he was born without the left ventricle of his heart.

According to the CDC only about 900 kids are affected each year, but that hasn't stopped his family from touching the hearts of others.

"We found out when I was 6 months pregnant," said Collette Kelly, LaShawn’s mom.

Before LaShawn took his first breath of life, he was overtaken with HLHS and then became all too familiar with visits to the hospital.

"Since he was 6 months old he was in there more than he was home definitely. The least amount of time he spent in the hospital was about 2 weeks, 3 weeks," said Kelly.

But two handles connected with a string of rope is bringing hope to the family.The Annual Jump Rope for Heart in Stanley is on Friday, which raises money for the American Heart Association.

"It was something I did as a kid, but I didn't understood though what it was all for. They need that research money to figure out how to stop future kids from having this problem,” said Kelly.

5-year-old Taylor and 6-year-old Micquena are jumping to help their brother's disease.

"Cause he's got’s a broken heart," said Micquena Hoyle.

"It’s really hard. You're torn in like two different places, and even with that put aside it’s hard. You really have to push yourself aside and worry about them and not focus on your own feelings,” said Kelly.

The family has been practicing their skills and I even learned a thing or two about jump roping. They hope to raise a thousand dollars to protect future generations from developing the condition.

"So I can help LaShawn," said Hoyle.

"He's taught us so much. The situation has taught us how to love, how to care," said Kelly.

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