Katherine Schroeder

Perseverance is tough. Persevering with a good attitude is even tougher. That’s what makes Katherine Schroeder so remarkable.

Katherine is only 13, but has undergone 15 surgeries or other procedures on her heart, with more on the way. In March, she’s scheduled to have two heart valves replaced. She faces a lifetime of medical interventions to keep her heart running properly, yet her focus is elsewhere – such as finding opportunities to help other children with heart problems.

“I try to put them at ease and help them understand there’s a way to get through it,” she said.

Katherine began sharing her story in fourth grade, after her principal asked her to help promote the school’s Jump Rope For Heart fundraiser to benefit the American Heart Association’s lifesaving research and education. They made a video of her story and soon Katherine was getting involved with heart-related activities at other nearby schools, in addition to community Heart Walks and Heart Balls.

These days, she’s a frequent speaker and fundraiser. She makes and sells lanyards and bracelets and operates neighborhood lemonade stands, encouraging everyone to support the American Heart Association, the organization that is leading the fight against heart disease through research, education, programs and more.

“I love being able to raise money to help find new technology that can help people live a longer life,” she said. “I feel like I’m not only doing something good for myself, but also others in the community.”


Stories available for linking, quoting, excerpting, reprinting
Stories appearing on blog.heart.org under the "By American Heart Association News" byline are available for linking, quoting, excerpting and reprinting. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to the American Heart Association. Additional conditions may apply to the use of these stories in printed materials.
American Heart Association additional conditions for linking, quoting, excerpting, reprinting stories in print media
  1. A credit line of American Heart Association News must be prominently placed on the page in which the American Heart Association materials appear.
  2. The American Heart Association logo and service marks may only be used if they appear on the materials requested.
  3. Stories reprinted may be edited for length, but no other deletions, alterations or other changes may be made without the prior written consent of the American Heart Association.
  4. Artwork labeled "American Heart Association" may be reprinted, but other artwork may not. For artwork permission questions, contact news@heart.org
  5. Stories reprinted may not be placed adjacent to any advertisement, photo, graphic or other content that could be considered inappropriate by the American Heart Association. For questions about whether content is inappropriate, contact news@heart.org.
  6. Stories may not be displayed in any way that gives the appearance that the American Heart Association endorses (implied or otherwise) or is affiliated with any product, service or company.