The ‘Play For A Heart’ Story

In 2007 the inaugural Play for a Heart Tennis Tournament was kicked off in partnership with Tennis Plus at Redstone Park in Highlands Ranch.  After a sellout event and raising more than double our goal, we decided we needed a bigger venue.  The Colorado Athletic Club Inverness hosted the event through 2011.  They were very gracious and generous in donating their facility and the staff to enable the event.  Each year the Play for a Heart has been held it has exceeded our expectations.   The support from the volunteers on our committee who help make this event possible to the players, sponsors and donators is amazing and we are truly appreciative.  At this point we have raised $165,000 for pediatric cardiology research, become a tier one Children’s Hospital event, reached over 250 in attendance, and been on Channel 7 News, all to create awareness and raise money for a cause so near and dear to our hearts. We are looking forward to our next event this September 16th at Redstone Park!

Our Motivation

Our family’s passionate interest and motivation for this particular charitable cause is because our daughter, Libby, now age 16, was born with a congenital heart defect called Truncus Arteriosus.  She underwent open heart surgery at 2 months old to reconstruct her heart and had a second surgery in 2011.  Her second surgery went perfectly; however, moments thereafter she went into complete cardiac arrest. Many at Children’s Hospital still deem her the “miracle child” because if all things had not lined up like they did, she would not have made it. The heroics performed by nurses and doctors in conjunction with the ECMO machine not only saved her life, but insured that it would be a life worth saving.  Our hope is that by increasing awareness, our fundraiser will enable Children’s Hospital to expand the ECMO program and develop less invasive procedures for children with heart defects through regenerative solutions. Today Libby is a determined 16 year old that is very focused on her academics, loves playing volleyball and spending time with her friends.

Funding Focus

Historically, we have mainly focused on funding research, however, as a result of Libby’s life saving experience, 50% of the money raised will support of the ECMO program at Children’s (led by Dr. Shannon Buckvold, and started by our surgeon, Dr. Max Mitchell). The other half will go toward developmental biology research to hopefully limit, if not eliminate, the need for invasive surgeries in the future.  Our hope is that by sharing our story it will enable the Hospital to raise additional funds to share their research, and broaden the exposure for these 2 important programs. Please help us in our efforts by support Play For A Heart 2019.