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  • young athletes -- share your stories?

    [young athletes -- share your stories?]

    Author: beth (---.nyc.rr.com)

    Date: 11-04-02 18:12

    i am working, with lisa's involvement, on pursuing a major initiative sponsored by an athletic company to get higher level screening conducted for young athletes in advance of their participation in competitive athletics.

    in an effort to dimensionalize the importance of doing this, for our presentation, i would very much like to hear from any and all of you about your experiences with young athletes and HCM.

    i know that these are very personal stories so i understand if you'd rather not. no stories will be used without your permission in any way other than in helping me to present the concept of screenings to this company and with my colleagues who are putting together the program presentation.

    i would like to hear about, in addition to however you want to tell your story, how this has affected others in your family (other diagnoses, etc.), how the community has responded (are there differences in screenings as a result, are there AED's available, etc.?). as many facts as possible would be of great help.

    please e-mail me if you feel you can share your story at:

    [email protected]

    i hope one day to be able to have lisa announce a significant new initiative in this arena, sponsored by a major company, and supported by excellent PR on the national level to get the word out. keep your fingers crossed; as with every effort, timing and chance and many things go into whether or not we can "sell" an idea in.

    we need your good thoughts.

    so you know, i work at a major marketing communications company in new york city and believe i have a client who MIGHT be interested in supporting a program like this. i am motivated by everything i have come to understand about this disease as the result of losing my best friend to it earlier this year. while i can't help her, in her memory, i can, now knowing what i know, at least try to do something for others in the future.

    many thanks in advance.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: young athletes -- share your stories?]

    Author: Julie Petitpas (---.proxy.aol.com)

    Date: 11-05-02 08:53

    Beth, I have sent you my story. Thank You for bringing this to the forefront. This could make a big impact. Julie P.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: young athletes -- share your stories?]

    Author: Sharon (---.ph.ph.cox.net)

    Date: 11-05-02 23:21

    Beth,

    I have also sent you my (Anthony's) story. Thank you for your ideas and professioinal approach from the "inside." I hope that all the stories you receive will be a means to the end...or at least to a new beginning for HCMA and everyone that has been affected by this disease.

    Best Regards,

    Sharon Bates

    http://www.AnthonyBates.org

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: young athletes -- share your stories?]

    Author: Adam (---.sfsu.edu)

    Date: 11-07-02 17:09

    My name is Adam . I am 22 years old and I have HCM. Growing up, basketball was my entire life. It was the reason for my existence and it was the only thing I truly loved in life. Everything else paled in comparison as I grew up. My days consisted of sporadic "practice sessions", the gaps between which were filled by such uninteresting things as classes, homework, and chores.

    All my life I envied, idolized, and worshipped my older brother whose life also was consumed by basketball. He was a burgeoning star in high school, recruited by several great basketball programs up and down the west coast, until that fateful day when he went for his echocardiogram when he was 16. That is the day his life came shattering down on top of hwrong that doctor was. My brother did not speak to anyone for quite some time. It was the saddest time of his life I believe, but few people realize how sad it was for me as well. That was the day I gave up basketball as well. I continued to play, but emotionally I was detached from it. The fear that one day I, too, could develop this disease was enough to make me quit. I did not want to suffer through the same catastrophic news my brother was forced to endure. If I could give up the game on my own terms atleast maybe I could shield myself emotionally from the harsh reality that I would have to face when my diagnosis would eventually come. And that day did come. It came and went with no big ordeal revolving around it. My dream had been effectively put to death the same day as my brother's. Today, my brother is an attorney and sports agent based in the Bay Area. He now represents basketball players for a living. We live together while I pursue my MBA at San Francisco State. Next year I am off to law school, possibly at Rutgers in Camden, NJ. I help my brother a lot with his company nowadays and it helps us cope with the fact that our dreams will never come to fruition. But those dreams have been replaced by other dreams and our lives go on because we have no choice. Others with this disease are not so lucky. Many go undiagnosed and drop dead on the court. With age comes wisdom and it is only now, years later, that both my brother and I realize that we are the lucky ones. We are still alive. Every day we have is a blessing. What if we were the ones dropping dead on the court? At one point we may have felt so bad that we actually wished that on ourselves. I know I did from time to time when I was younger and could no longer play the game I loved. But now im. His diagnosis absolutely destroyed him as it effectively ended his basketball career. Sadly, just two years prior to that day he was told that "he was in the clear", that if not detected by the age of 14, HCM will not develop. How I see the bigger picture and am thankful for what I have. To those out there with this disease, I commend you for courageously battling it and exulting in the realization that victory comes when you embrace your life and love the things that you do have. Dwelling on the negative leads down the path toward destruction, a path my brother and I have veered away from toward a path of happiness and fulfillment. I hope my story can help someone else out there with this disease. I pray for each and every one of you young athletes out there forced to face my same reality.
    NOTE: This is a post from the previous forum message board.

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