It is exceedingly hard to love others without a working heart. In fact, fulfilling all the parts of the profile of the graduate at graduation is impossible without a working heart. Many of us are fortunate enough to have easy access to quality surgeons and healthcare, but imagine what life would be like without these resources.
The Heart Gift Foundation was founded in 2000 to help serve those who need our help the most. Throughout the United States there are five separate Heart Gift chapters, and the Dallas chapter has grown to be one of the largest. Through the help of donations, Heart Gift flies a child from a developing country to Dallas to undergo a one-time cardiac surgery. Before arriving, doctors screen the child to confirm they can be treated with a one time surgery and that the damage is life threatening. Then, upon arrival into the States, the surgeon and staff give their time and talent free of charge in order to positively transform the child’s life. Thanks to our fantastic partnership with Children’s Medical Hospital, a child will receive a life-saving surgery. Mr. Perry did not exaggerate when he said this program literally “helps save lives” through the combined efforts of every single person involved.
Junior Andrew Arraj helped bring this fantastic program to Jesuit. After experiencing a successful Heart Gift fundraiser at ESD, Andrew was inspired to bring this program to our campus. He described Heart Gift as “a really good program for Jesuit to be involved with,”one lining up squarely with the principles upon which Jesuit was founded.
The cost for this life changing operation is $10,000, including airline fees, use of an operating room, post operation recovery, and arrangements for the family. Several fundraisers at Jesuit helped raise money to meet this staggering goal. Without the dedicated service of these philanthropic students, the project would not have been completed.
After a pancake breakfast, which raised a couple thousand dollars, the highly anticipated Expository bowl helped support the fundraiser by pitting the football team against the ferocious Roundup team. Though The Roundup team proved a strong contender throughout the entire game, the football team emerged victorious by a narrow margin of 28-12. Mr Perry one of Jesuit Heart Gift’s largest supporters, stated he was “very thankful to The Roundup and especially to Dr. Degen” for their endless support.
Finally, the Medical Society helped co-host Lifesavers Night, an evening ceremony dedicated to The Heart Gift Foundation. The organization’s president, the doctor who will perform the surgery, and a former heart gift patient all delivered moving speeches and help sell over 200 tickets. Christian Shields ’16 assisted in coordinating the event and said that the evening was a fantastic success and “promoted awareness for the heart gift program.”
As of this Monday, the school has reached the $10,000 donation goal through the generous work of all the groups and volunteers mentioned above. Without their dedicated service, this child would not receive the surgery she needs. Special thanks again to Mr. Perry, Andrew Arraj, the Medical Society, The Roundup, the football team, and all those who helped make this fantastic program a success.