EDMOND — Ella Turner was a kindergartner three years ago when she started her mission to help children with bad hearts.
Her cause is dear to her heart because she does it in honor of her little sister, Colby, who died when she was 2.
Colby died of complications from a rare disease, geleophysic dysplasia, which affected her heart.
Ella, 8, is an ambassador for the American Heart Association.
When she was 5, she learned at her Texas school about Jump Rope for Heart, an American Heart Association program that raises money for heart disease. She had raised $16,500 by the time she moved to Edmond to start the spring semester at Centennial Elementary School.
Her biggest challenge yet — start at a new school and find 1,000 donors for this year's Jump Rope for Heart.
“My heart feels good when I do it because I feel like I'm doing something for other people,” said the red-haired girl with a big smile.
Ella learned about Jump Rope for Heart in her physical education class in Rockwall, Texas. She knew immediately that is what she wanted to do for Colby.
“I came running out of school,” Ella said. “I was so excited. I told my dad I wanted to raise $1,000. He told me I didn't understand how much $1,000 is.”
Ella told her dad he didn't understand how much it would help kids like Colby.