Meet the Survivors: Stephen

My name is Stephen Woomer, I am 14 years old and I was born with Ventricular Septal Defect – more commonly known and described as holes in the heart. My case was quite severe and complicated, and I underwent life-saving open-heart surgery at just four months old.

My heart condition has not changed the way that I live my life. If I lived life on the sidelines and not to the fullest then I’m allowing my heart problems to beat me. I live my life like any other teenage boy because I am not any different. Today, I am an extremely healthy, smart, active 14 year old. I am a sports enthusiast and I play both basketball and baseball for my school and participate in a summer baseball league.

I’m looking forward to the Gene Juarez fashion show and being the center of attention, and knowing that everyone will be looking at me. I’ve never been on a runway so it definitely will be interesting.

To me, living a full life means never holding back, ever. Also to live in the moment, don’t look back at your past and don’t necessarily look too far forward in the future, because before you know it the present won’t be there anymore.

See Stephen and our nine other survivors walk the runway at the GJ Fall Event ‘Live Life Beautifully on November 12, 2014 at EMP Seattle. All proceeds benefit The Hope Heart Institute and Northwest heart health education. Tickets are on sale through November 9. Buy your ticket online today at