By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

LaurenLindbergLauren Lindberg never got the chance to meet her maternal grandfather, Roger Obringer, who died before she was born—heart attack at age 37. But when a form came home from Lauren’s school to participate in the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope For Heart fundraising drive, Lauren jumped at the opportunity.

Lauren’s mom, Tisha Lindberg, encouraged her daughter. “It’s tough when you’re 11 and your dad dies,” says Tisha. “You carry that with you. I remember seeing the form, and I thought, ‘I am never going to be able to bring my dad back, but here’s what we can do: Lauren can jump rope, we can raise money and hopefully never have that happen to another 11-year-old.’”

That year, 2013, Lauren raised $1,750 for Jump Rope For Heart as a second-grader. Then, as a third-grader, she raised $10,000. This year, as a 10-year-old fourth-grader, Lauren far exceeded her goal of $20,000 — with a whopping $60,500.

And although she was home with the flu the day her school, Durham Academy in Durham, North Carolina, hosted the actual jump-roping, Lauren felt a great sense of accomplishment at raising such a large sum, which she achieved by emailing family, friends and corporations.

“You send it to everyone out there saying, ‘Donate!’” Lauren proclaims.

Her mom helped Lauren register for Jump Rope For Heart and together, they wrote the email and created a web page.

In her email, Lauren said: “I’m doing something really fun at my school, and it’s for a wonderful cause that I think everyone should support, including you. I’m learning how to exercise and protect my heart and everyone’s heart!

“I’m raising money for the American Heart Association, so that they can help kids who are born with heart problems survive. It’s also to keep kids like me active, so that as I grow older, my heart stays healthy!”

The fundraising drive was naturally a great fit for Lauren, who loves jumping rope. When she’s not doing that, she plays tennis, rides horses, dances and plays violin and piano.

Lauren’s $60,500 contribution to Jump Rope For Heart brought the total for Durham Academy’s Lower School to $78,675.

“She amazes me at everything she does,” says her mom. “She’s just a great mixture of smart, clever and cute, all in one little package.”