CI Hero: Farnan Family raises more than $16k for ‘Team Blaze’ during inaugural HOI Congenital Heart Defect Walk/Parade

CI Heroes

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The inaugural Heart of Illinois Congenital Heart Defect Walk Parade was not squandered by COVID-19.

This week’s CI Hero is the Farnan family. They’re a champion team raising more than $16,000 for “Team Blaze.”

A sprightly three-year-old loves his choo-choos and golf. His mom Angela Farnan said Blaze was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect at birth.

“My son is a complex congenital heart,” said Angela. “He has a hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and he became part of our family three years ago and this has been a dream for a long time just to raise awareness for children and adults living with congenital heart disease.”

Sunday was Peoria’s first time hosting the Heart of Illinois Congenital Heart Defect Walk Parade, which turned into a parade and socially-distanced affair to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions. The event was a vital part of The Organization For Understanding Congenital Hearts, which celebrates heart heroes in the community.

“A lot of people don’t realize the number of people actually living with congenital heart disease,” said Farnan. “It’s one in every 100 children born has a congenital heart defect and approximately 40,000 babies are born each year.”

Along with her husband, the Farnan family raised more than $16,000 for the fundraiser.

“90 percent of that will stay here,” said Farnan.

The money will go to the Congenital Heart Center at OSF Healthcare’s Children’s Hospital of Illinois where 1-in-100 babies are diagnosed with a defect. The Sunday fundraiser surpassed its goal of raising $60,000.

It raised $62,798.75 of $60,000.00. There were a total of 494 donations.

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