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Tom Abercrombie Gets Chilly For Heart Kids

Will you give up 6 minutes doing something a little crazy between the 29th of September and the 20th of October 2021 to ensure that kids and their whānau around Aotearoa NZ living with a heart condition never have to walk alone?

Heart Kids ambassador Tom Abercrombie is getting chilly at home to raise awareness and funds for Heart Kids NZ.

The New Zealand Breakers star is taking part in the annual 360 Heart Stopper Challenge with a twist.…the current Delta outbreak has required Heart Kids to cancel all their in-person fundraising and awareness events for the rest of the year that many heart families and members of the public look forward to.

Even though Delta has stopped in-person fundraising - it hasn’t stopped children being born with or developing heart conditions - the need for the work Heart Kids does grows every single week.

Heart Kids has changed their direction and is committed to running their fundraising event by changing their usual format to do something new, now it’s the 360 Heart Stopper "bubble challenge" where you and/or your bubble get together in your backyard or your workplace to get chilly for up to 360 seconds, then post your video to social media and challenge someone else to get chilly for Heart Kids.

The 360 Heart Stopper Challenge has been running for 21 years and was the idea of a father whose child was born with a congenital heart defect (CHD). Kind-hearted people all around the country commit to sitting in a tub of icy cold water, chilled to 10 degrees for up to 360 seconds this represents how the chest cavity is sometimes packed with ice during a heart operation - the six minutes participants pledge to spare equates to a lifetime of support for children living with a childhood heart condition, it’s something those who take part can feel proud of.

Heart Kids is the only organisation in Aotearoa/NZ providing lifelong care and support for children, young people and families impacted by congenital and acquired childhood heart disease. Each week, 12 babies are born with one or more congenital heart defects.

That's over 600 courageous little "Brave Hearts" born each year that need our help, and that's not including the ones that develop acquired heart conditions during childhood.

Tom Abercrombie has a personal connection to Heart Kids, Porter, his 3-year-old daughter has an electrical defect and has had a pacemaker since she was 13 months old.

Dr Ruth Gorinski, Acting CEO of Heart Kids New Zealand, says:

"Our big campaigns such as the Heart Stopper Challenge are always very well supported, however, given the current Covid outbreaks we simply must put people’s safety first. It is a disappointment to many that we are unable to hold our live, in-person events but we hope supporters will embrace the challenge from the safety of their own homes so we can continue to support the many heart members we have across the country."

The 360 Heart Stopper Challenge runs from September 29 - October 20, 2021

Participants sign up via the Heart Stopper website www.heartstopper.co.nz

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