ENGLEWOOD — KAP for the Heart will host its 3rd annual Spring for the Heart Benefit on April 6 from 6 p.m. to midnight at the American Legion Post 707 in Englewood.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in the United States – taking more than 600,000 lives each year according to the Institute of Medicine. What many find surprising is the staggering number of youths affected as SCA is the deadliest disease affecting student athletes and the second most frequent cause of death for youth under 25. KAP for the Heart is a local non-profit whose mission is to educate, spread awareness, and prevention for undetected heart conditions/diseases which could lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest in our youth.
KAP for the Heart (KAPftH) was founded by Jeanene Popp – whose son, Kieran, passed away from Sudden Cardiac Arrest in 2015.
“My son, Kieran was a normal, seemingly healthy 23-year-old,” said Jeanene Popp, Executive Director, KAPftH. “I now know that this sort of thing is not rare, and we are working hard to raise awareness and institute cardiac screening programs for children in the local community.”
Kieran had a heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, which is excessive thickening of the heart muscle, which can often be detected by a well-read electrocardiogram (ECG). “While he had been excessively tired, we believed it was a symptom of narcolepsy, with which he was diagnosed at the age of 19. I had no idea that sudden cardiac arrest was even a possibility, I was unaware of the signs of heart of heart disease.” said Jeanene. She added “Many youth and young adults don’t speak up about the symptoms they experience, which could be related to a heart condition, because they are embarrassed or believe they will just go away.”
KAPftH is part of Parent Heart Watch, the national voice dedicated to eliminating preventable deaths and disabilities from sudden cardiac arrest in youth by 2030. Martha Lopez, Parent Heart Watch’s Executive Director, also the parent of a child lost to SCA commends KAPftH, “Their courage to protect other families from this tragedy will truly make a difference in protecting young hearts in The Greater Dayton Area.”
KAP for the Heart has many projects slated for 2019, which includes placing Automated External Defibrillators or AEDs in the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and awarding Kieran Popp Memorial Scholarship to a high school senior in the class of 2020. The long term goal is providing financial support for cardiac patients. KAPftH has supported the American Heart Association through raising funds for the Heart Walk for the past three years.
To learn more about KAP for the Heart and the Benefit Dinner or national SCA advocacy, call 937-545-8244, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.kapfortheheart.org.