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Edmond 8-year-old's mission dear to her heart

Ella Turner, 8, has been jumping rope for children with bad hearts for three years. She works to raise money in honor of her 2-year-old sister, Colby, who died from a rare disease that affected her heart.
by Diana Baldwin Modified: February 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm •  Published: February 5, 2013

“I made a deal with him,” Ella said. “We would try our best and not get upset if I didn't make it.”

In less than 24 hours, with the help of Facebook, Ella had raised more than $1,000 and went on to collect $5,500 the first year. The next year, she raised $11,000.

Her new goal is more than four times the number of donors she had last year.

She hopes to get her 1,000 donors by Valentine's Day.

When Ella learned that her mother, Usha Turner, was taking a job in Oklahoma, her first question was whether her new school participated in Jump Rope for Heart.

Centennial Elementary started the program this year after Ella's physical education teacher from Texas called to suggest it would be a good activity.

“She has met and exceeded her goals,” said her father, Neil Turner. “It has been a positive experience for her.”

As an American Heart Association Heart Ambassador, Ella has met children with heart problems and speaks to adult groups about her quest to help children with heart disease.

Ella also stars in a video for the heart association.

“I am not sure she could help Colby's heart. I'm not sure that was possible,” Usha Turner said. “She is helping others.” has disabled the comments for this article.
by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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