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Jul 11, 2011 6:10 PM by Andy Koen

A heartfelt journey

A Minnesota man pedaled his way halfway across the country to help kids who are born with heart defects here in the Pikes Peak Region. Cory Mortensen rode his bike over 900 miles from Minneapolis to Colorado Springs to help the Mended Little Hearts Organization.

Mortensen met with members of the group at a convention in New Orleans a few weeks ago. They celebrated his journey Monday morning with a picnic at Cottonwood Creek Park.

"I was about to ride my bike for a vacation and I said hey lets take advantage of this and raise some money with it and raise some awareness," Mortensen said. "They called me the next day and said would you change your route from New Orleans to Minneapolis from Minneapolis to Colorado Springs and I said absolutely, so here we are 8 days later."

Mortensen dedicated each day of his ride to one of the children of the organization and kept track of his progress on his blog. He says they were his motivation to keep going.

"One of those days where it was really tough I thought, hey I've got to get through this because these kids have this problem all day, all their life and this is just one day for me."

Members of the Colorado Springs Fire and Police Departments also came to the picnic to show support. As many as one in 100 children are born with congenital heart defects. The Mended Little Hearts of Colorado Springs formed last August to help provide a support network for patients and their families.

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