A Message from Our Chair
Everyone has a story. Everyone knows someone affected by heart disease or stroke. I met my someone in 1996, a man with a little boy named Ryan diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth and epilepsy at six months of age, all the result of a perinatal stroke. Perinatal strokes affect one in 4,000 births in the United States. Stroke has affected my life because that someone I met with the little boy would become my husband, John, in 2001.
People think strokes happen in older adults, not in children. But the effects of a perinatal or pediatric stroke will linger throughout a child’s life. Stroke is a brain attack and the No. 3 cause of death in the United States. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot or even bursts. When that happens, the brain does not get the oxygen it needs and it begins to die. On average, every 4 minutes someone dies of stroke.
This year, as Art for Heart focuses on the impact of stroke across all ages, we will honor a couple who has fought tirelessly to battle heart disease and stroke, Jan and Lawrence Farrington. The money raised at Art for Heart allows the American Heart Association to fulfill research grants and fund professional and public education, community service programs and prevention. Our wish would be to find a way for this to never happen to another child, another adult or another family.
Art for Heart has grown into a year-long mission with several events and fundraising opportunities. The Gala features a Live Art Auction with extraordinary artists, the Red Room featuring a mini-live art auction and our HeArt Gallery Silent Auction. In addition to the Gala, you are also included in the Art for Heart Preview Party.
Please join me in the fight against heart disease and stroke. I look forward to having you at all Art for Heart events.
Rachel Betts Ravenstein
2011 Art For Heart Chair