Athlete with heart murmur battles to be 'Ninja Warrior'

If heart problems and thyroid cancer are considered barriers, Molly Hemphill has plans to run, jump and climb over any roadblocks. The 32-year-old will be participating on NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” a show featuring athletes taking on a ridiculously difficult obstacle course.

But the Portland, Oregon, resident wasn’t always in such fighting shape. According to a report from American Heart Association News, eight years ago, Hemphill was told she had a heart murmur, resulting from pulmonary valve defect and electrical issues resulting in tachycardia. She later had to her thyroid removed after cancer was discovered.

But such setbacks were only temporary. Hemphill began to run, she began to work out and she began to try her hands at rock climbing. Now she’s hoping to appear on the “Ninja Warrior” show, in part to show others with heart problems just what is capable.

“I think it’s really important to represent the heart disease community,” said Hemphill. “A lot of times when you think about someone whose heart is damaged, you think about someone walking around with an oxygen tank. That might be the case for some people, but it’s not all of us.”

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