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Making a difference during "Make a Difference Day"


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SharonBates Find out more about SharonBates
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  • Making a difference during "Make a Difference Day"

    We do have some great news to share. We had our BEST one day heart screening event ever!!!

    On Saturday, October 22, in Gilbert, AZ, we had the opportunity to screen almost 400 young people and student athletes and we found (5) five people with potential HCM. All in honor of two young people connected by their deaths and their lives, Scotty Lang and Anthony Bates. Scotty attended Highland High School in his freshman year of high school. Anthony and I talked about Scotty's death, November, 1999 prior to Anthony's death in July, 2000. Both of these young people left this earth early due to undiagnosed HCM!

    Saturday was a most wonderful day! For our event successes and for all the people that showed up we were definitely held to the best and highest by the two most beautiful angels ever and all the wonderful angels we know!

    Of course, on Friday I had my own doubts. There were several times in the past four weeks during the preparation for our in school event coordinators, Joni Lang, Scotty's Aunt, and Jim Baker, Athletic Director for Highland, had their doubts, too. For the most part I tried to keep them calm and on track. Then on Friday I realized I needed to be calmed down. After a very unbecoming temper tantrum (you would have to see one to appreciate one), I got a call from my church chaplain. He must have known I was coming unglued. After a great connection and long moment of prayer, I did realize we had done all we could do to make it what needed to be. Then I got back to work with my friend Wendy, and my mom, Edna, and we headed over to Highland to meet Joni and Jim to set up for the screening that next morning.

    During the week it became apparent that we were going to have less technicians and less doctors than originally planned. These are areas of improvement for the Anthony Bates Foundation to work on over the winter months. All the Highland High School people did their jobs and fulfilled all their commitments to offer support for this event. We had over 100 volunteers show up for us that day, we definitely haven't had that kind of support every time we have organized a heart screening. Now they have set the bar for future events.

    With all the support and help of the Highland High School volunteers we had a great process flow for the heart screening and the participants were served one right after another. By mid morning, we were optimistic that we would provide over 300 echoes, because we hadn't seen the Highland High School Football team yet. They arrived right before 11 along with many of their coaches, too. We kept working hard and providing as many breaks and rest times for our medical volunteers.

    We even had the most wonderful food spread ever for the volunteers. We had morning bagels and muffins with Starbucks coffee. There for lunch we had Papa Johns Pizza, Subway Sandwiches, water, soda, home made cookies. Everyone seemed to get their fill. We even had hand made afghans from my mom and many other gifts for the medical volunteers. Plus, every volunteer and heart screening participant received our new t-shirts that read, "got heart? Support heart screening for young people everywhere" on the front of each shirt.

    Then by the time 2:00 pm rolled around our doctor support had to leave and we still had about 15 people that hadn't had tests. I took their paperwork and let them know we would personally contact them prior to our next screening and offer them a "first in line" spot at any of our spring 2006 events. Everyone was grateful for the opportunity to serve and be served for prevention of sudden cardiac arrest due to undiagnosed heart issues, particularly, HCM. It sure was / is an awesome feeling to provide such a service.

    Our preliminary ending number was reported at 402. After subtracting the 15 people left without an exam, our numbers will probably end up around 385. We will determine that when all the paperwork has been entered into our database.

    My hat goes off to everyone that participated, all the wonderful people that came together on "Make a Difference Day!" in Gilbert, AZ. We even had an HCMA member and her family participate in the event (I'll let her share). It seemed like everyone had a great time.

    I look forward to 2006, for more opportunities to save young people from sudden cardiac arrest, and to connect with everyone here in a greater way!

    From your dear friend,
    Sharon Bates
    The Anthony Bates Foundation

    VP / Director of Heart Screening Programs
    & Parent Wellness
    Protecting kids from Sudden Cardiac Arrest

  • #2
    Sharon, I'm so proud of you and all you've accomplished. We all thank you! Linda


    • #3

      As usual you're doing great things!! The T-shirts sound great. Can we buy them to help you raise money??

      Best wishes,

      41 years old. Diagnosed with HOCM in Feb 2005. Myectomy at Mayo on June 8, 2005


      • #4

        That's FANTASTIC :P Congrats on a great day.



        • #5
          Hi everyone,
          I've been out of touch for a few days this week in Minneapolis, MN (my birth place no less) working with the Parent Heart Watch and Medtronic Foundation. All is good there and we are really excited about offering a new advocacy group for parent's that have lost their child to SCA. The parents and families of this new group want to do something productive with their grief and make lots of rainbows. Myself and my friends, Rachel Moyer, Linette Derminer and Laura Friend are the founding leaders. Many of you met us last summer at the HCMA annual meeting. So far we have parent leaders in 26 states...we are happy to offer parent support, and program support for advocacy for AEDs in schools and Cardiac Screenings for our youth. More to come on our new group over the next few months. Watch our new website (or our old one) www.ParentHeartWatch.org or www.NCPN.org as we launch our efforts in many states across the US.

          As for the shirts...I would be happy to mail anyone interested in the Anthony Bates Foundation "got heart?" shirts. Send me a PM with your mailing address and the sizes you would like. Donations are accepted. We are honored to have more human billboards!

          Have a wonderful day,