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Katie Van Dorsten

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In memory of Everette Miller and John and Jamie Van Dorsten

After running four half-marathons, I decided that 2016 would be the year that I moved up to the big leagues. The Chicago Marathon seemed like the best fit (itís flat!) and I wanted to participate in a marathon that would draw an energetic crowd. Instead of signing up for the race lottery, I chose to receive guaranteed entry through a charity that was close to my heart.

My grandfather died from a heart attack at the age of 63. My brothers, John and Jamie Van Dorsten, were diagnosed with hypertrohic cardiomyopathy, a condition where the thickened heart muscle cannot pump effectively, causing arrhythmias. They both died in 1989 at the ages of 17 and 14. My uncle, Graham King, had double-bypass heart surgery in 2002, and ran the Chicago Marathon three years later.

Because so many of my family were affected by heart disease, Iím joining the American Heart Associationís Running Team to raise money for research, treatment, and prevention of cardiac diseases like the ones that affected my family members. I am committed to raising $1,000 for the American Heart Association, but I know with the support of family and friends, I can raise much more.

I will run in memory of my grandfather and brothers. I hope you will help me surpass my goal. Run with heart!
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