What we have been able to accomplish with the help of our amazing Donors and Volunteers:
* Largest screening program in the United States
* Performed over 160,000 FREE EKGs to high school and college age students
* Trained over 15,000 community volunteers to assist with our screenings
* Developed training program to train community volunteers to perform EKGs
* Only program in the US to use community volunteers to perform EKGs
* Junior Board composed of 68 high school students from 16 area schools
* Internationally recognized as leader in the US for screening for SCD
* Assisted organizations across the US in setting up screening programs
* Held education sessions for physicians on how to read EKGs in this age group
* Research done on screening outcomes in high school and college age students
* Developed Tool Kit to aid communities and organizations to develop their own screening programs
* Invited to become a local chapter for the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association
* Video contest for High School students to educate other students on SCD
* Community Advisor Board developed
* Screening Program developed to be used in Primary Care Physicians Office
* YH4L screening data used to develop standards for international physicians reading EKGs
* Bereavement group started for parents and siblings who have lost a family member
“We never set out to be the biggest—we just wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people. The amazing growth comes because of the energy and commitment of our thousands of volunteers whose only goal is to save lives.”
– Dr. Joseph C. Marek
Stories You’ll Want To Read
I don’t know how to thank YH4L. I never thought my son had any health problems. If it wasn’t for his football coach, I never would have signed him up for an EKG. The coach told all his players to sign up for the free screening at our high school with Young Hearts for Life. Why would I think anything would be wrong? Tom was perfectly healthy.
I can’t begin to tell you how our life changed that day when I received the phone call from one of your nurses., I don’t think I heard anything after she said that Tom’s EKG showed a condition called Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome. All I could think of is that this couldn’t be happening. He had a full ride to a Division 1 school. How was I going to break this news to him? Were all his dreams gone?
Fast forward a year – I can tell you that Tom is doing great.! Thanks to Dr. Marek and YH4L, Tom is in college and playing football. He had an ablation after his diagnosis and was able to return to working out a few short weeks after the procedure. Tom is here today, because of this program. He could have been that child you read about in the newspaper and say “how sad”. Tom is still a statistic – but a good statistic. He is one of those kids that had a second chance at life because of the YH4L program. I will forever be grateful for this program.
With all our hearts – Thank you YH4L
Tom and his VERY Grateful Mother
When I was first approached about David having an EKG through YH4L, my first thought was “why not”. It would be a good baseline. When David was 10 days old, the doctor had run a rhythm strip on him but at that time there was less awareness about diagnosing Long QT, and so, it went undetected.
David had played sports for years and never had any symptoms of any heart condition. He was an active and perfectly healthy 14 year old. When I received a call about his EKG being abnormal, I immediately thought they were calling the wrong person. This was totally unexpected. They had to be wrong. I could not believe what I was being told. Dr. Marek was very diligent and saw David right away. He suggested all family members be evaluated along with having genetic testing completed. At this point, I still thought that they would maybe come back and tell us there was some mistake made and David was fine.
It was ultimately confirmed. David did have Long QT and genetic testing was positive. My younger son, although his EKG was normal, was genetically positive for Long QT. I also had an EKG and testing done. My EKG showed Long QT along with my genetic testing. I took a day to be upset and then realized how lucky we were to have this information. YH4L screening not only lead to David being diagnosed and properly treated, but because of their free EKG, my younger son and myself can also be treated. David is responding well to treatment and back to playing tennis, running, and skiing. I cannot begin to say how grateful I am for Young Hearts for Life and the work they do.