Neighborhood NewsLifestyle & Wellness

Walking marathon raises funds, awareness for pediatric heart research 

Zach Martin and Mallika Mallika Padmanabhan’s son Ashwin was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect before he was born in December 2022. Ashwin spent the beginning of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit, and after undergoing heart surgery at just 14 months old, he recovered in the pediatric cardiovascular intensive care unit. Today, Ashwin is a healthy, energetic toddler. 

Together, along with their friend Michael Stranz, the founder of Traipse DC, they organized a walking marathon for children’s health.

The Traipse Twin Cities 26.2-mile route began at the steps of the State Capitol, circled through St. Paul along historic Summit Avenue, weaved through the University of Minnesota campus, and concluded in Minneapolis. Along the way, stops were made at restaurants, cafes and breweries. Walk participants included Zach and Mallika, their friends and family and others who have followed Ashwin’s story. Ashwin’s M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital members were also invited. 

“When we first learned about Ashwin’s condition, we had worries and questions,” said Martin. “Organizing Traipse Twin Cities while supporting Every Heart MN is our way to commemorate our son’s medical journey and appreciate the crucial work that Masonic is doing for all pediatric heart families.” 

Should you wish to support M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital and pediatric heart patients, you may do so by visiting or by contacting Korinne Gerhart at by June 30. 

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