MARTIN, Mich., — He only has half a heart, but 10-year-old Owen Jones has a lot more heart than most.
“He just has a passion for life and a passion for caring, and he just loves to give back of himself to other people,” explained Michael Jones, Owen’s dad.
Owen’s parents learned about his condition, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, when he was still in the womb. It prevents Owen from participating in contact sports, but it hasn’t impacted his ability to pay it forward.
For years, Owen has been raising money for research and cures for heart conditions with the American Heart Association. He’s raised more than $6,000 thousand dollars through a benefit concert and his “Heart Walk” team.
Last year, he was also instrumental in organizing a special “Red Out” game between Martin and Fennville football teams that brought in an extra $4,000 thousand dollars.
“Just to help people who have heart conditions and need help finding a cure… It’s good to give back to the people who don’t have much,” Owen told FOX 17 News.
Owen’s parents say his giving does not stop and his efforts are inspiring the whole community.
“He’s always caring, always loving, always wanting to give more and he’s always inventing new ways to give of himself,” said his dad Michael. “It’s just his personality. He wants to show people that yeah, I have half a heart, but this is more heart than what most people have.”
Next week, Owen will take his story and campaign to raise awareness to Washington, D.C. as part of “Cure on the Hill.” The 10-year-old will speak to Congress about the importance of funding heart research, alongside other representatives of the American Heart Association.
“I’m really happy to go there and talk about heart conditions,” said Owen.
Owen is also gearing up to hold his second annual benefit concert called “Music for the Heart” to raise money for his Heart Walk team.
The concert will be held at the Stage Coach Barn, located at 8940 N. 32nd Street in Richland on Friday, April 12, 2013.
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