A central Arkansas family is making a difference after the death of their daughter.
The nonprofit "Walk for Wheezy" was started after the death of 9-year-old Eloise Owen in 2016, who also went by her nickname Wheezy.
She battled congenital heart disease her entire life.
“Walk for Wheezy is a nonprofit that was started after the death of my daughter Eloise Owen who was born with a congenital heart defect,” her mother Sarah Owen said.
Walk for Wheezy keeps her memory alive.
“It continues on the legacy of my daughter Eloise, but it is so important because we are raising funds for the future," Owen said. "The future of research and cures.”
This event is held not only to honor Eloise but also to raise money for the
Arkansas Children's Hospital Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit.
“Why I do is just because there’s a need and there’s kiddos that need help and Arkansas Children’s Hospital that needs support.” Vice President and co-founder Zoe Eddington said.
Participants register for a fee and walk together at Cabot's Panther Stadium.
This year, a record amount of over $70,000 was raised for ACH.
“I can do nothing but smile, I feel like my jaws are going to be so sore by the end of the day,” Owen said.
Participants also had the opportunity to donate blood and take CPR classes.
“Being able to walk away and knowing how to save a life, I mean nothing more empowering than that,” Owen said.
Eloise is continuing to motivate children at ACH who are battling similar conditions. Her mom can only hope her fight will help save others.
“It takes people to partner together to partner together to rally together to fight anything, so I hope they walk away feeling inspired,” Owen said.
Eloise's mother said her worst fear was that her child would be forgotten, and this event proves that her life will continue to impact others.
“I just feel like the energy is so lively and so excited to be here to be celebrating Wheezy and her forum," Ms. Arkansas’s Outstanding Teen Camille Cathey said. "It’s just been so amazing to be around people who are so passionate about this cause.”
You can donate and learn more about Eloise here.