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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Hoiberg Makes Annual Visit To Camp Odayin

Release: 08/07/2012
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CROSSLAKE, Minn. - Iowa State head men's basketball coach Fred Hoiberg's personal fight against heart disease has been well documented. His philanthropic ventures in helping find a cure for the deadly disease isn't as well known, however.

The Mayor took time out of his busy schedule and spent the day at Camp Odayin in Crosslake, Minn., yesterday. Camp Odayin is a Midwest camp for children with heart disease. Its sole purpose is to provide a residential camping experience for young people with heart disease to explore outdoor, athletic and creative activities in a safe and medically supervised environment.

Hoiberg is one of many Americans suffering from heart disease. Hoiberg had just finished his 10th season in the NBA when it was discovered he had an aneurism of the aorta. He had surgery to correct the life-threatening condition, but was required to live with a dual chamber pacemaker when he had 100% post surgery heart blockage.

Hoiberg was forced to retire from the NBA, but with the advancements in technology, and with the help from the American Heart Association, he is able to lead a normal, active lifestyle.

"I have been assisting with Camp Odayin for the last six years," Hoiberg said. "I look forward every year to having a day with the kids. After I had my surgery, I was asked to get involved. It's an unbelievable experience to see kids with heart disease have a great time on the lake."

Sara Meslow, Executive Director at Camp Odayin, has seen the camp grow from 53 in its first year in 2002 to 270 this past season. She is grateful Hoiberg has agreed to give a helping hand.

"Fred has been a part of the Camp Odayin family since he got his pacemaker," Meslow said. "For these kids to be able to see a former NBA player and a Big 12 coach live such a full life with heart issues is inspiring. They look to Fred and say, 'Wow, I am touching my dreams, I can have a normal and healthy life, I can do what I want to do and I am not going to let my heart issues hold me back.' Fred is such a tremendous living example of our mission. We are so grateful he is a part of our family."

For more information on Camp Odayin, click here.
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