CINCINNATI - As thousands of runners and walkers made their way through the streets of downtown for the Mercy Health Heart Mini Marathon and Walk, there was one child in the large crowd absorbing every moment.
"It's a special day," said 12-year-old Payton Herres.
It was one year ago when Herres was at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center receiving a heart transplant. She was born with Epstein's Anomaly, a rare congenital heart disease. At the time, it was difficult to do basic activities but now her health is almost back to normal.
"I'm doing really good," Perres said. "I just finished volleyball and I'm probably going to do soccer later this year."
Herres and her father, Donald, drove down from Centerville, Ohio, to take part in Sunday's event after making a promise following her surgery to give back to the American Heart Association. She proudly wore a red T-shirt that stated, "I received my new heart on 3-18-2012. Be a donor, thank a donor."
"We're also doing this for the donor family," Donald Herres said. "We feel very appreciative of the sacrifice they gave to us, the heart my daughter was able to receive."
The Herres family will also mark another milestone on March 28, when Payton celebrates her 13th birthday.
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