Virtual 5K raising money, awareness for congenital heart disease

A Milwaukee-area mom has made it her mission to raise awareness for CHD through the Heart and Sole 5K
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 5:43 AM CDT
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WISCONSIN (WBAY) - Congenital heart disease impacts one-in-100 babies. About 25 percent of those babies will need life-saving surgery during their first year of life. Nearly all of the children will require lifelong care.

A Milwaukee-area mom has made it her mission to raise awareness for CHD through the Heart and Sole 5K. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020′s event will be virtual. That means you can complete a 5K in your neighborhood, park, or the treadmill.

The money raised goes to the non-profit Conquering CHD. The organization's focus is awareness, research and advocacy.

Callie Chiroff is the mother behind it all. Callie’s inspiration is her son, Theo. In March 2018, Theo passed away at the age of six months. He was born with a congenital heart disease in which the blood vessels that go from the lungs and back to the heart were connected in the wrong place. He needed surgery just 12 hours after birth.

Theo was also born with a chromosomal abnormality.

Callie says her mission is to help other families.

“He never left his room. So, we never left Children’s [Hospital]. He never got to see the outside and be outside of Children’s Hospital so that was really hard for me, and I think that’s why I try really hard to live a life that means something, and try and do good in this world, because he didn’t get to. So I promised him that I would,” says Callie.

The Heart and Sole 5K is scheduled for Aug. 15 and 16.


People from 28 states have signed up for the event.

The cost is $25 for adults and $10 for kids.

Those who sign up by July 31 will get a t-shirt and other items.

Last year, Callie partnered with former Milwaukee Brewer Travis Shaw. Shaw’s daughter had congenital heart disease. The 2019 5K was held at Miller Park in Milwaukee. About 1,200 people participated in the event. It raised more than $100,000.

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