Chase Maltbie Kansas
Lansing Elementary School students are jumping for joy over their big donation to the Kansas City American Heart Association. Students raised $13,000 this year thanks to their hard work and the inspiring stories of their gym teacher, Lee Matzeder, and a 6-year-old student, Chase Maltbie.
Matzeder had a heart attack on November 3 at the Royals victory parade. "It felt like someone was sitting on my chest; I could hardly breathe," said Matzeder. His wife, Tina, rushed him to the emergency room at the University of Kansas Hospital, where doctors said he needed triple bypass surgery.
Two months after surgery, Matzeder returned to teach at Lansing Elementary. He was there when students participated in this year's Jump Rope for Heart event benefiting the American Heart Association. First Grader Chase Maltbie had the most donations - a whopping $1,800 in pledges. Chase's dad, Lt. Col. Richard Maltbie, died of a heart attack last October. He was only 39 years old. Chase said he wanted to jump to honor his dad and make a difference. "To help people with sick hearts so I can donate money to other doctors to help other doctors learn how to take care of sick hearts," said Chase.
The 6-year-old also had advice for other children dealing with a parent's death. "It's hard to have it; but I hope you can get through it," Chase explained. Matzeder knows how Chase feels because the gym teacher was also six years old when his father died of a heart attack. Now Matzeder tells everyone he knows to get their heart checked at least once a year. "I just never thought it would happen to me," said Matzeder.
Many of the students who participated in the Jump Rope Event said they were jumping to honor their teacher. See the full story here.