Local mom spreads awareness about high blood pressure in kids through fishing derby

Local mom spreads awareness about high blood pressure in kids through fishing derby
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POSTED: Saturday, May 24, 2014 - 10:51am

UPDATED: Saturday, May 24, 2014 - 10:52am

Right now, more than two million kids in the U.S. have undiagnosed hypertension, and it can be life threatening. Saturdaty, a local mom wants to help save the lives of kids right here at home by fishing!

Matthew Goodwin is about to celebrate his 12th birthday. He's full of life, but seven years ago, something almost took his life.

"I have high blood pressure myself, and it nearly took my life in 2007," Matthew said.

"Seven years ago, I was a mother who never realized kids could have high blood pressure. Once I realized that there were over two-million kids in the United States with undiagnosed hypertension, I said something has to be done about this. This has to change. This isn't acceptable for me as a parent," said Celeste Goodwin, Matthew's mom.

That's why Celeste wanted to do something about it. So four years ago, she came up with this.

"This was a really unique idea. We sat down with our board members and said we need to come up with something that can get the kids involved in an activity," Celeste said. "You know, you see a lot of awareness runs and fundraiser runs and walks, but when we're doing blood pressure screenings, we don't want to get their heart rates up too high."

Celeste decided on a fishing derby to spread awareness of the effects high blood pressure can have on kids.

"We said this would be a great opportunity for the kids to do something fun, get their blood pressure checked, and not even realizing that they're doing something good for themselves," Celeste said.

"You usually think 'oh that's older people, grandparents have that,' but it's not," Matthew said.

So kids from all across the area are here at Cabela's in Gonzales to get screened and to have some friendly competition.

"So far it looks like we've exceeded the last four years. So in the past, we've had more than 200 kids registered each year to fish, and we've screened well over 250. So, we're hoping to surpass those numbers this year," Celeste said.

Celeste said she's grateful to have her son Matthew here with her today. If this derby helps just one kid, then she said that's what it's about.

"We can tell you if we have one child that gets screened today that has high blood pressure and didn't realize it, and if we can make one parent aware, then all of this was worth it," Celeste said.

Celeste said this is the biggest turnout they've had since the derby began.

If you want to learn more about hypertension and high blood pressure in kids, you can go to the links below:

http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/heart/hypertension.html

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/UnderstandYou...

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