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It's not every day that the story of a Righetti High School graduate's life journey is on the front pages of ESPN.com.

But that's what happened Wednesday.

The story of Stevie Wisz, who starred on the Righetti High School softball team before graduating in 2015, was on the homepage of ESPN.com, starting Wednesday afternoon.

Wisz, now 21, is a senior on the UCLA softball team. She walked on with the Bruins as a freshman after graduating from Righetti.

The profile on Wisz focuses on her battle with heart disease while growing up in Orcutt. Wisz was diagnosed with an enlarged heart as a 1-year-old.

Later, doctors in San Luis Obispo diagnosed Stevie with aortic stenosis and she would eventually need open-heart surgery, a nine-hour procedure that was performed at UCLA Medical Center when Wisz was 9.

Wisz had a pacemaker installed at age 10. When she was 15, her aorta began to leak, forcing another open heart surgery. This one lasted 13 hours. 

Wisz is now due for another heart surgery, but the former Warrior has elected to postpone the operation until her season, and college career, is complete at UCLA.

"The leaking in the aorta was again severe, so her longtime cardiologist had sent her to see a cardiac surgeon at USC, a pioneer in the field of valve repairs, specifically a procedure in which the pulmonary valve is transplanted to the aorta and, in Wisz's case, a pig valve is inserted into the pulmonary position," the ESPN.com story by Wayne Drehs reads. 

Wisz's story even reached the Los Angeles Dodgers clubhouse. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who has been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and several heart operations, reached out to Wisz on social media, inviting her to visit Dodger Stadium.

"Hey I definitely know what (you're) going through. Stay strong, good luck and come by the field when you can. Your story is inspiring, would love to meet," Jansen wrote to Wisz on Twitter.

Wisz is scheduled to graduate from UCLA with a degree in biology on June 13 and undergo the heart procedure on June 21.  

The Bruins are playing in the Women's College World Series after winning the NCAA LA Regional last weekend. The Bruins will host James Madison in a Super Regional best-of-three series starting Friday.

The family has triumphed over adversity before. Stevie's mother, Melissa Wisz, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. She beat the disease a year later. The Wisz family also lost a 17-day-old son, Hunter, when Stevie was a 1-year-old.

Softball runs in the family. Sister Delanie Wisz, a sophomore at Loyola Marymount, was named the NISC Regional Championships MVP at her team's regional on Sunday. Delanie, also a Righetti grad, hit three home runs and batted .462 at the regional.

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Joe Bailey is the sports editor at Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Contact him with tips and story ideas at jbailey@leecentralcoastnews.com or (805) 739-2239. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jbaileysmsports

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