Local Family Raising Awareness, Funds To Heal Young Hearts

Aiden at the doctor's office. (credit: hope-for-hearts.com)

Aiden at the doctor’s office. (credit: hope-for-hearts.com)

DETROIT (WWJ) – A metro Detroit family is working on a special recipe to help heal broken hearts.

When Jamie LaForest gave birth to her first baby in 2004, she knew something wasn’t quite right.

“Shortly after he was born my husband and I began  to question many different things,” LaForest told WWJ Health Reporter Sean Lee. “Aiden never ate. He was always sleeping and his skin always felt cold.”

Doctors diagnosed little Aiden with a congenital heart defect: Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, or HLHS.

“It was devastating. I had a normal, health pregnancy with eight ultrasounds; and my son’s heart defect went undetected,” LaForest said.

Thanks to several procedures to help Aiden’s tiny heart do the work of a regular one, he’s now a thriving 9-year-old.

To help raise awareness about the number one birth defect in kids, Jamie created the Hope for Hearts foundation.

“We came up with an idea to raise money by selling cookbooks. So our family and our friends, other heart families, pitched in and put together their recipes,” said LaForest. “Two years ago my son handed  his heart surgeon a check for $40,000.”

Aiden and his family hope to raise even more money this Saturday, Feb. 22, at the first ever Hope for Hearts silent auction and dinner fundraiser in Dearborn.

Get event details at this link. Learn more about the charity here.


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