HOUSTON -- Anna King has a very big heart.
“I want to help and inspire other kids,” the seventh grader said.
Her heart is too big in fact.
Active, might not be strong enough to describe her.
“Basketball player, soccer player, I played a lot of sports. Always active,” King said.
Last October, she was playing in a volleyball tournament, thinking her lips were turning blue because the gym was too cold; that was not it.
While being treated for possible pneumonia, a chest X-ray revealed an enlarged heart with just 30 percent function.
Getting that kind of diagnosis was not what she expected from the doctor visit.
“It is not really a blast. It was really a shock -- a game changer there. But we took it with a positive attitude,” said King.
King and her family learned quickly that a transplant was the only option to save her life.
The McCollough Junior High Charity League, a student group devoted to projects helping community members in need, stepped up.
Fellow seventh grader Blake Havern described their major project as panhandling with a purpose.
“Door to door around the school asking for change for Anna,” said Havern.
The project netted more than $2000 and 50 pounds of change has yet to be counted. The entire school is motivated.
“This is someone that is their age, that is just like them, and this is could be a problem that they could face without warning or knowledge,” said charity league advisor Krissi Chambers.
“I did not know her but just the fact that I know I will be helping out one person, it just makes an impact,” said eight grader Hannah Campbell.
It is not just the McCollough Charity League Change Drive or an auction; there are all sorts of projects being done for Anna, including the Student Council selling t-shirts: ‘A heart fit for A. King.’
“Get it? Got it,” said Anna as she held one of the bright red shirts up to her chest. ”I don’t know if I will ever be able to repay what people have done for me but I will try my best.”
She has her own group called ‘HumorHealsTheHeart.org.’ The group focuses on raising money, as well as raising awareness.
King said she is ready for what comes next, both in the hospital and after she receives a transplant.
“I’ll be able to do anything. If I put my mind to it, I’ll be able to do anything,” she said. “This is the proof I have I am going to make it through one of the toughest challenges.”