Fargo girl with half a heart to be honored at walk

Fargo family is raising aware about heart defect

FARGO N.D – Being only 5 years old and having a heart defect takes a lot of courage.

For 5–year–old Willow. She’s a fun-loving kid.

Willow is a diehard prankster she loves making people laugh and joking and she loves her tire swing, but her story is a little different then what most kids go through.

“So Willow was born with a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome It means she was born with half a heart. There’s no known because no known cure we found out when I was 20 weeks pregnant,” Said Willow’s mom Cassandra Marka.

And it wasn’t easy.

“When we found out it was devastating, we didn’t know what to do in terms of can we have this baby will she live ya don’t want to get too excited or too attached,” said Marka.

When she had her first day of school, there were some concerns.

“You know two and a half months of watching you kid almost die from cardiac ICU seeing your kids almost die how many times you form a little bubble around their world,” said Cassandra.

But things have a way of working out.

“If not from the support of the Fargo Public Schools and just the teachers shout out to Ms.Rossow. Understanding the severity of just keeping Willow healthy as much as we could and understanding her needs,” Said Marka.

She hopes she’s able to pass on advice to others.

“I remember just wanting to talk to people ya know something would happen, and I was scared to lose her, and I wanted to bounce ideas and thoughts, and I think that’s huge for parents going through it,” Said Cassandra.

She also knows Willow’s story is important to share like she will be at the Red River Valley Heart Walk, where she will be honored.

“Her heart will tucker out its half a heart doing the job of a full heart so it doesn’t lend itself to a long full life for willow really the importance of the heart walk is too create awareness to raise money for research so that in the next 30 years we can come up with something to allow Willow to live a long healthy life,” Said Marka

But even against all the odds, Willow is a fighter.

“I think she loves proving people wrong it’s been her m.o. Since the day she was born, she proves us wrong all the time and was happy about it,” said Cassandra.

If you would like to support Willow too, Cassandra says to come out for the Red River Heart Walk which will be in September. Click here to sign up or donate.

Categories: Health, Local News, North Dakota News