Two Victoria Girls Join Forces To Help Fix Broken Hearts

Victoria BC – Haleigh Miklic and Dawson Nemeth are two students at Cordova Bay Elementary that share a unique bond – they were both born with holes in their hearts. Haleigh, now a Grade 5 student, and Dawson, now a Grade one student, were both diagnosed with a ventricular septal defect (VSD) and both successfully underwent open-heart surgery before they were six months old.

Being open-heart surgery survivors is not the only bond that these two now healthy girls have in common. They are both Heart Heroes who are raising funds and awareness through the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Jump Rope For Heart campaign.


Heart Sisters, Haleigh and Dawson, jumping rope for heart!

Haleigh has been leading the charge at Cordova Bay School since she was in Kindergarten raising over $10,000 and for the past three years she has been recognized as the Province’s top fundraiser. Upon joining the school and hearing about Haleigh’s story and their unique bond, Dawson was excited to meet her. Haleigh spoke to Dawson’s class about their unique commonality and the importance of promoting awareness about heart health.

Dawson is excited and honoured to carry on the legacy that Haleigh has started and to be a new Ambassador for Jump Rope For Heart at Cordova Bay. Haleigh is grateful to be able to pass the torch on to Dawson and will continue to support Dawson and Cordova Bay School as leaders with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Cordova Bay School has been involved in the Jump Rope for Heart campaign for over 20 years and has always been one of the top fundraising schools in the province.

To support Dawson and Haleigh in their fundraising efforts, donations may be made at Please help Dawson and Haleigh fix broken hearts.

About the Heart and Stroke Foundation
The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.

To learn more about Dawson’s and Haleigh’s mission or to make a donation, please visit:

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For more information please contact:

Cindy Miklic Heppell (Haleigh’s mom)
(250) 514-3800

Brenda Nemeth (Dawson’s mom)
(250) 920-5854

Heart and Stroke Foundation, Victoria Area Office
Celeste Zimmer, Community Development Coordinator