5K walk to support Muncy infant

A 5K walk event will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Williamsport Area High School track to honor two infants with heart conditions.

The Hayden’s Heart 5K Walk for Nolan is organized by Hayden’s Heart Inc., a nonprofit created by Rob and Ady (Smith) Dorsett, formerly of Williamsport, whose son died of a congenital heart defect in August 2012, at 5 months old. The day’s proceeds will benefit 12-month old Nolan McLaughlin, who received a heart transplant in January.

The mission of Hayden’s Heart is to raise congenital heart disease (CHD) awareness, help keep Hayden’s memory alive and to assist families with their immense medical bills and travel expenses. The organization hosts numerous fundraisers each year in memory of Hayden, choosing a fellow heart family whose child is beating the odds.

“Our goal is to alleviate some of that stress so they can focus more on their child and not feel the burden of the financial hardships that often come with having a sick child,” Ady Dorsett said.

Nolan, infant son of Matthew and Corinne (Everett) McLaughlin, of Muncy, received a new heart January 24 at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP), where he was hospitalized since October 2013, after being diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy.

“Nolan’s story spoke to me one afternoon when we were deciding on a family for another event,” Dorsett said. “I happened to come across his sweet face on Facebook, and I instantly felt the need and urge to help. It was such an intense and strong feeling; I just knew Hayden was behind it and knew we had to come together and support this inspirational family.”

“I was really touched when Ady reached out to me wanting to raise funds for Nolan in honor of her son, Hayden,” said Corinne McLaughlin. “The day I read her message tears immediately sprang to my eyes. The immediate connection ‘heart parents’ have with one another is truly extraordinary. I know Hayden was watching over Nolan during our last couple months at CHP. We can’t wait to connect with Ady and her family and help spread awareness about CHD and other pediatric heart conditions.”

The Nolan-Heart of Steel Fund assists the McLaughlin family in defraying medical expenses not covered by insurance, as well as medications Nolan will need to take for the rest of his life.

Funding also will support children’s cardiomyopathy and transplant research.

Following the walk, participants can enjoy an inflatable bounce house, face painting, kid’s tattoos and craft table. Registration for the event begins at 8:30 a.m., with the walk starting at 10 a.m.

To register, visit www.123con tactform.com/form-840212/ Haydens-Heart-5K-Walk. There is a registration fee for the event, which will include participant bags and lunch.

“Along with supporting Hayden’s Heart and Nolan’s Heart of Steel at this 5K walk,” said Dorsett, “the Williamsport community will be a part of something larger – spreading awareness for cardiomyopathy and congenital heart disease, the leading cause of all infant deaths in the United States.”

For more information on the Hayden’s Heart 5K Walk for Nolan, visit haydensheart.org.