Teen With Rare Heart Condition Speaks Out Through March of Dimes


CUMBERLAND, Md. -- One high school senior has been living with a rare heart condition for his entire life.

At five months old, Shawn Jones was born with a congenital heart defect known as Ventricular Septal Defect and Mitral Stenosis.

"It's pretty awesome to be different than anybody else," said Jones.

Jones was very active in sports at a younger age, playing baseball, soccer and basketball but says he has taken it down a notch and just plays soccer now.

"I had trouble breathing in sports. I had trouble keeping up but now, it's easy," added Jones.

To give back, he has participated in March of Dimes for 15 years with strong support from his family and friends.

"It's been a good experience. They walk with me every year. They're with me from the get-go and still are," he said.

Jones' friends say they feel fulfillment knowing they can help out a good friend and sticking through the thick and thin.

Two of his close friends, Emma and Patrick have participated in the walk for ten years.

"It's really cool knowing that you're a part of something that helps out someone you're really good friends with, and you get to be a part of that," said Emma Baker.

"We've always been really close but we probably got a lot closer whenever he had that; we came to visit him at the hospital and everything," said Patrick Russell, 17.

For the March for Babies chairman, it even hits close to home for her.

"I know with my own daughter, she was six weeks early, and as we were going in for delivery, I asked everybody in the medical profession, 'Is my baby going to be okay? Will she be alright?'“ said Brenda Smith, 2014 Western Maryland March for Babies.

With every mile walked, and every cent donated, it has become closer in saving a baby's life.

The next March for Babies event will take place in Hagerstown on April 26th at Fairgrounds Park at 10 a.m. For a list of other upcoming events near you, click here.


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