Don't call it surviving, it's thriving

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A local man is pouring his heart into a fundraiser groundbreaking research here in central Ohio.

Drew McCartt will ring in the new year with an eye toward June 10, 2018.

It will be the 13th anniversary of the day he had a life-saving artificial heart valve implant. It happened the day he was supposed to graduate from The Ohio State University with his Master’s degree, “You’re being faced with the fact that you’re going to have open heart surgery—there’s no way around it,” he said.

In fact, McCartt had known this day was coming since he was in tenth grade because a doctor diagnosed him with heart congenital heart disease during a sports physical for track.

The pediatric cardiologist he saw in Cincinnati told his family there was no need to do surgery at that time and that McCartt was strong enough to continue with his competitive running in cross country and track.

The procedure in 1988 was a success: McCartt was implanted with an artificial valve and believes research funded by the American Heart Association is the reason.

His goal is to pay it forward with a fundraiser in honor of thirty years called "Give and Let Thrive."

An anonymous corporate donor made a $50,000 challenge grant to the fundraiser and pledges were also made through social media.

McCartt, who is married and has two children continues to run and hike. He is committed to a fit and heart-saving lifestyle and credited research with saving him.

Through “Give and Let Thrive,” McCartt said he can provide proof that research is the single greatest way to help the most people because it leads to everything else that saves lives.