Heart health isn’t something Samantha Miller ’20 takes for granted. A sophomore majoring in criminal justice and minoring in sociology, Miller was born with a rare congenital heart defect called Dextrocardia Dextroposition. This means her heart is on the right side of her chest and is, essentially, turned backwards.
“I have gone to many heart doctors that have been amazed at what they see with a defect like mine,” says Miller, who wears a specialized heart monitor, similar to a pacemaker, which helps manage her heartrate and transmits real-time data to her cardiologist.
Though complications from her condition are common (like feeling faint or passing out), Miller is a typical college student—and this year, she’s the Honorary Captain representing Team UC in the 21st annual America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk.
While the Walk is most commonly associated with heart disease awareness, Miller hopes her involvement in this year’s event helps bring attention to heart defects like hers—and raise funds for continued heart research.
“Research is so important,” she says. “It’s what allows doctors to find answers for me.”
More on this year’s Heart Run & Walk and opportunities to donate:
Team UC’s annual Pie-The-Coach is Wednesday, Feb. 28 in Strebel Lounge from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The team is also selling T-shirts outside the Dining Commons from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday and Thursday.
The Heart Run and Walk will kick off on Friday, March 2, with a Health and Fitness Expo in the Harold T. Clark Jr. Athletic Center from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
UC will also host the WKTV Telethon and the WIBX Radiothon. The Telethon will be Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Radiothon will be Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both will be held in the Harold T. Clark Jr. Athletic Center.
On Saturday, March 3, UC will host the 30k run, 10-mile run, 5-mile run, 3-mile run, 5-mile walk, and 3-mile walk.
Learn more or donate here.