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Hundreds of teens to receive free heart screenings at Steele Canyon High School this weekend

heart screenings
Posted at 5:14 PM, Feb 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-22 20:14:07-05

Hundreds of teens will receive a free heart screening at Steele Canyon High School, which is where one teen’s life changing story began.

“I would get different feelings of abnormal heartbeats, different episodes of shortness of breath. Sometimes I felt like I wasn't at the same level as my teammates,” says Lauren Ewing.

As a gymnast and as a cheerleader, Ewing often felt different, but she couldn’t understand why.

Before her freshman year, Ewing's mom scheduled her for a free heart screening organized by the Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation.

In 2009, Paredes was a sophomore at Steele Canyon High School when he passed away unexpectedly from sudden cardiac arrest. After his death, his parents started the foundation and began putting together heart screening events for teens across San Diego County.

It was at a screening where it was discovered Ewing had an abnormality in her heart.

She was referred to a cardiologist, where she was diagnosed with a heart condition that, if left untreated, could be deadly.

“I had no knowledge or awareness of my diagnosis, and now it’s something I'm aware of and dealing with my entire life," she says.

It’s that experience that motivated Ewing to get into the medical field. She also volunteers at various heart screening events.

Something Ryan Poe has also committed to.

Like Ewing, Poe was an active high school athlete who also discovered she had a heart condition after getting screened.

Poe says she’s hopeful she can also use her experience to help other teens.

“It's been gratifying to do EKGs on students that are in the same position I was. I know how they feel. They're nervous. They don't know what's going on. When they get there, [I] empathize with them and tell them I know what you're going through," Poe says.