Kristi's Heart Hugs annual Heart in the Park

BISMARCK, N.D. - Sometimes, health struggles inspire people to help others.

Just ask Kristi LaFrenz, when she went through her third open heart surgery more than a decade ago, she decided to create a support group for families going through similar situations.

Kristi's Heart Hugs has helped hundreds of families offset to high cost of traveling during heart procedures for children.

She says this year, the support has been overwhelming.

"I only really asked for like five different people, to be really honest, and at the end of the day I was having messages come from all over the community wanting to donate," said Kristi's Heart Hugs founder, Kristi LaFrenz.

Parents are encouraged to share their child's heart experience at Pediatric Therapy Partners in Bismarck.