My Heart Story

By: Catherine Laube

I was born with a Congenital Heart Defect called Atrioventricular Canal Defect (AV Canal Defect). What this means, in laymen's terms, is that there were 5 holes in my heart, and the blood that has oxygen in it and the blood without oxygen, were mixing.

I lived the first year and a half of my life with congestive heart failure. At 18 months old I had open heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. From my birth, I relied heavily on medication. At the age of 4, I had a repair surgery, to repair a wire that was poking through my chest. Since then I have had no surgeries, and am a healthy teenager. I go to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's hospital every other year for a checkup with my cardiologist. I take daily medication, but other than that...I am just like every other teenager!

In 2018, I graduated from Clarkston High School with honors. I was the drum major of the marching band for 2 consecutive years, I was quite active in my high school youth group, and I was able to be on two Congenital Heart Walk planning teams! I currently attend John Carroll University, in Cleveland, Ohio. I am majoring in Human Resources, with a minor in math. I am active at my internship, and my on campus jobs and clubs. I enjoy running and just ran my second half marathon. I am lucky to be able to live a full life!