Reid Hartl, junior ambassador of the Capital District walk, was being honored at the event for his fundraising efforts to support the cause. For four years he has organized a fundraiser at a local restaurant near the end of fall, and he also organizes a neighborhood garage sale at the end of summer. He also participates in the walk.
"I like doing it because it is helping people like me overcome their problems with their heart," said Reid.
Reid was born on July 1, 1997, and seven days later he was undergoing heart surgery to repair an interrupted aortic arch and transposition of the arteries. In addition, he had a hole in his heart, which closed on its own over time.
Reid's father, Bob Hartl, said when his son was younger they had to take extra precautions on things other parents wouldn't need to be concerned about.
"Any time he had a dental appointment that involved what they called an invasive procedure, meaning they were going to use instruments, he had to have amoxicillin ahead of time in case there was nick or something that would create some infection that would attack his heart," said Hartl. "Any deep cut that he would get on a playground we had to make sure we treated and, you know, normal kids stuff we had to go with the amoxicillin there too."
One month ago Reid was cleared "for everything" his father said, such as playing high-contact sports. Reid is leaving the seventh grade at Koda Middle School in Shenendehowa. His diet requires him to avoid fatty foods and to not eat red meat or real ice cream, on top of eating healthy food in general.
"We're proud of him," said Bob Hartl. "It's nice to see that he doesn't just look at this as some chore. He likes his neighborhood garage sale; he's proud of it. He sits there and he'll talk with people when they ask about the Heart Association. It is really nice that the neighborhood helps out too."
The Capital District Start! Heart Walk is planned for Saturday, Oct. 16, at The Crossings in Colonie and the North Country walk is planned for the following Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs.""