Supplied by the Huron Superior Catholic District School Board…
Sault Ste. Marie: Students in the Grade 8 class at Holy Family Catholic School are very aware
that today, March 8th
, is ‘The Sault Wears Red for Congenital Heart Disease’. That is because
one of their classmates has to live with the dangerous condition.
Grade 8 student Dominic Ralph has Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) and after his classmates
were informed of what he and Isla Bertrand, a Grade 6 student at Holy Family, deal with on a
daily basis they decided to help in the fight against CHD. The students participated in a
Wake-A-Thon on February 22nd and raised $1007.00 to go towards research.
“It was such a great learning opportunity to be able to learn about a disease that affects two
students in our school, particularly one in our class,” said Grade 8 Teacher, Raymonde Magli.
“It was so nice to see the students gather around their classmate and embrace such a great
cause. In doing so, we have also raised awareness about the CHD and its effect on Dominic, Isla
and others,” added Magli.
According to the website, one in 100 Canadian children are born with a congenital
heart defect and more than half need surgery to survive. Congenital Heart Defects are the most
common birth defect.
“It was a great time to teach my classmates a little more about what I have to deal with. It is good
to know that the money we raised is going to go towards something that will hopefully change the
future for those of us with CHD,” said Dominic.

Dominic’s classmates were happy to have learned more about CHD and excited to get the
opportunity to help those dealing with it.
“I have learned that there is no actual cure for CHD but you can have surgery to help live with it.
The Wake-A-Thon was so fun and I would do it again, said Rebecca Swenson.
“It is good to know that $1,007 is going to Sick Kids to help students with Congenital Heart
Disease,” said Cole Arruda.
“It was a very fun and creative way to raise the money. I learned that CHD can be very severe
and can be a dangerous illness to have,” said Devon LeClair.
Due to advances in diagnosis, surgery, and in the newer interventional catheter-based
procedures over 90% of children with CHD are living full lives into adulthood. For more
information on CHD visit