It's all too common we come across difficult stories concerning children in our community. But what makes us human is what makes us strong - we fight and fight and fight and the last thing we'd do is give up. For inspiration, just see how Harker Heights has rallied around Knights' baseball coach with #TeamKye. Sadly, there is more hurt in the Harker Heights community, but again, the community and positivity from mother Claudia Bernier bodes well for their beloved 9-month-old daughter, Emerson.

Photo provided by Claudia Bernier

Emerson was born at Scott & White in January of 2016 and was immediately flown to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston where she was soon diagnosed with a highly complex congenital heart defect. Not too long ago, these conditions were rare in children, but there has been an alarming upward trend of CHD with 1 out of 100 children at risk. 90% of those kids born with a heart defect will need surgery within the first year of their lives.

Emerson received her first open heart surgery when she was just two weeks old. Her family will be traveling to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, California as Emerson is scheduled to undergo her second heart surgery in November. While Claudia is aware her daughter will need interventions for the rest of her life, she believes raising awareness and supporting CHD foundations will advance technology, which will continue to enable their beautiful daughter to grow up and tell her story.

That's why this Sunday, October 16 Killeen will be home to the Hopeful Hearts 5k from 9 am to 2 pm. The event is being held in honor of Emerson as it will help her family with the costly procedures to help ensure she gets the best care possible and raise awareness about CHD in children, as it is not as uncommon as many think.

You can find the 5K information here and register the day of the event this Sunday. You can find directions below.