It’s in the news often, Linette Derminer said — young athletes collapsing and dying of sudden cardiac arrest.
“These no-warning cardiac collapses are the single largest cause of death among young competitive athletes occurring every three days in the United States,” she said. “The real story is that it doesn’t have to be.”
The Kids Endangered Now (KEN) Heart Foundation saw life-saving success in 2012 and now foundation administrators are looking forward to new fundraising efforts in the new year.
Derminer, founder of the KEN Heart Foundation, donates portable cardiac defibrillators to schools and organizations, hoping to raise awareness and prevent sudden cardiac arrest from occurring among young people, including athletes.
An AED is a portable electric shock device that restores proper heart rhythms.
“Last year was a great year for us,” she said.
The foundation continued its CPR/AED education program and partnership with the Geneva Medical Center Community Outreach Nurses Program.
“This was outreach and education for more than 600 students,” Derminer said.
The program was at Edgewood High School four times, Geneva High School and Geneva Middle School, Grand Valley High School and Pymatuning High School.
The foundation’s defibrillator/AED Grant Program benefited the Jefferson Midget Youth Football League, the Lilly of the Valley Church, and Jefferson High School.
Research is also a long arm of the foundation, Derminer said, with the collection of approximately 150 to 200 cases of youth related sudden death cases annually from online articles and resources for research and advocacy purposes.
Directors of the foundation attended the National Youth Sports Safety Summit hosted by National Athletic Trainers in January 2012 and the Conner Senn Cardiac Symposium in May.
All that outreach needs some funding, and the KEN Heart Foundation held weekly Bingo games and Cosmic Bingo every month, ran in the Cleveland Rite Aid Marathon and held a Harley Davidson basket raffle held at Thunder-on-the-Strip at Geneva-on-the-Lake.
Derminer said support from local organizations, specifically the Ashtabula Chapter of the Concerned Motorcycle Riders of Ohio, helped further the foundation’s goals.
Important dates for 2013 include:
• February is Heart Health Month
• The Ken Heart Running Team will participate in the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon in May. Runners are needed for this event.
• Cosmic Bingo
• Bingo every Thursday at the Moose Lodge in Saybrook Township.
• October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest awareness month.
For more information, go to www.Kenheart.org or call (866) 317-4034.