Giving Hearts a Hand is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that “promotes heart awareness in area communities through funding cardiac screenings in high school athletes.” Giving Hearts a Hand has been fortunate to work with medical facilities and area schools in Central and Southeast Indiana to fund well over 1500 cardiac screenings (EKG & Echocardiogram) since they funded their first heart screening in the summer of 2012! In addition, they have been able to fully fund and/or help with the placement of over 50 AED’s through their “raising cardiac awareness” initiative.
Giving Hearts a Hand was created in May of 2011 by Doug & Cortney Meyer after hearing(TV & media outlets) of several young athletes passing away while participating in the sport(s) they loved. In particular that spring, Wes Leonard, the Fennville, MI basketball player who hit the game winning basket for his high school team, and collapsed(and died) seconds later due to an undetected heart condition grabbed their immediate attention. Doug & Cortney decided to do something that could potentially help prevent a tragic situation from occurring to local athletes and their families. A personal connection has driven the two to reach as many young athletes as possible… Doug was diagnosed as a 15 year old HS sophomore with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Although his condition was detected as a result of a school physical (and an abnormal high blood pressure reading), he knows that he was extremely fortunate for that “freak” high blood pressure reading. Doug strongly feels that his awareness of the heart condition has possibly saved his life, but is thoroughly convinced it will extend his life had that high BP reading never occurred.
Giving Hearts a Hand’s goal is simply to help educate and promote awareness so that if a condition is found or a potentially tragic situation occurs, people know how to act/react to help save a life. Unfortunately in the last 11 years GHH has been in contact with many individuals who have lost children (Jeremy Nelson, Simon Sudman, Jake West, Zac Mago, Ryan Latham) due to undetected heart conditions, and they are doing their part to help raise cardiac awareness and help save others the pain and heartache they have experienced. GHH’s hope lies in the many youngsters who have either experienced Sudden Cardiac Arrest or caught a heart condition before they had severe complications! Giving Hearts a Hand has an obligation to raise awareness in the communities they serve and appreciate the many levels of support they receive from those who are committed to heart health also!
GHH Board of Directors:
Mehlon, Jenny – Margaret Mary Health
Meyer, Cortney – Milan Family Dentistry
Meyer, Doug – Hillrom Inc
Myers, Brent – Rotex Global, LLC
Nicoson, Susan – Indiana Heart Physicians
Snodgrass, Angie – IU Health Physicians – Cardiology