September 27, 2018

“Feel the Beat” Raises HLHS Awareness

By centerforregmedmc

The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome recently held the annual “Feel the Beat” event at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. In its sixth year, the event brings together families, researchers, and clinicians to learn more about and raise awareness for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, or HLHS.

This year’s theme was evolution. Physicians spoke about how caring for patients with HLHS has evolved, and a patient/parent panel discussed their personal experiences with HLHS. Guest speakers included:

  • Gabrielle Wanek, a 23-year-old with HLHS paving the way for others
  • Michelle Waletzko, mother of a child with HLHS and active member of the congenital heart disease community
  • Elizabeth Raszka, mother of a child with HLHS and active participant of the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative

You can find videos of this panel and the physician presentations on the HLHS Facebook page.

Read local coverage of the event: KTTC, KIMT, Post-Bulletin


The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome is a collaborative network of specialists bonded by the vision of delaying or preventing heart failure for individuals affected by congenital heart defects, including HLHS. The specialized team is addressing the various aspects of these defects by using research and clinical strategies ranging from basic science to diagnostic imaging to regenerative therapies. Email the program at to learn more.

Tags: Congenital Heart Disease, Dr. Timothy Nelson, Event, HLHS, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Medical Research, research

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