10-year-old survivor to captain Wichita Thunder on Go Red Night


The ECHL’s Wichita Thunder will do away with their traditional blue in favor of red for a good cause Friday night. The team’s jerseys have been turned red and covered with an inspirational word cloud in support of the American Heart Association‘s mission to raise awareness of women’s heart health issues.


The team’s honorary captain for the night, 10-year-old heart disease survivor Ashlyn Alumbaugh, gets her own jersey for the occasion, which coincides with National Wear Red Day.

Per the team’s website:

Ashlyn was diagnosed with a heart disease called ASD, Atrial Septal Defect, at the age of seven. After several attempts of using medications and heart monitors, the doctors concluded that the hole in her heart was extremely large in size and learned that she had three additional holes that needed to be repaired.

Due to the extremely large size of the hole, and the anatomy of her heart being so damaged with the additional holes, Ashlyn was not a candidate for the less invasive catheter procedure, and would require open heart surgery to repair her heart.

At the age of eight, Ashlyn underwent an eight-hour open heart surgery procedure. Only eight short weeks after her open heart surgery, Ashlyn was back in school playing with friends with little to no complications. Her determination and bravery leading up to her surgery, and during recovery was something to be admired by all.

According to the Thunder, Go Red Night is responsible for two of the team’s three highest-attended games ever, and the promotion has raised more than $20,000 for the American Heart Association. The team’s jerseys will be auctioned after the game.