Open Your Heart
Open Your Heart is an opportunity for individuals to make a purely philanthropic gift to the the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. 100% of your gift goes directly to our mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Your generosity enables the American Heart Association to educate people on the risk factors and symptoms of heart disease and stroke, to develop hospital guidelines and protocols to improve patient care, and to fund groundbreaking research.
As long as heart disease continues to be the nation’s No. 1 cause of death, and stroke the No. 5 cause, the importance of our work remains critical. Please consider making a gift to Open Your Heart.
Together, we can change lives and save lives!
A Letter from Lori Irvin
I was 24 weeks pregnant when I learned that my daughter, Rosemary, had hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a birth defect that requires a series of three
open-heart surgeries to repair and restore heart function.
Rosemary had difficulty postoperatively, so I was relieved to get to the third stage, which would bridge her into adulthood when she would need a heart transplant. However, Rosemary's body rejected the third stage surgery. After six months of living at the hospital, with no medical hope remaining-her heart, lungs, and multiple organs failing-I made the heart-wrenching decision to bring my daughter home on hospice care. I felt like I was giving my daughter a death sentence. I prayed for another chance to continue being her Mom, and that's exactly what I got.
I have always said miracles and medicine walk hand and hand. Dr. Jonas at Children's National Medical Center had one last idea: a fourth surgery to reverse the third stage, taking Rosemary effectively back to stage two. I seized this opportunity to give my daughter one last fighting chance, and Rosemary had an amazing turnaround. She was discharged two weeks later (her shortest hospital stay since birth).
Rosemary is alive today because of congenital heart defect research and education funded by the American Heart Association. She's learning to play the violin, taking ballet classes, and living her life to the fullest. When Rosemary needs a heart transplant, I'm comforted knowing that the innovative research and technological advancements developed by the AHA will not only give my daughter, but thousands of children with CHDs, the best chance to live a long, healthy, happy life.
Please support the AHA by giving generously to the Open Your Heart Campaign. The next great achievement in heart health awaits your investment.