Thursday, May 6, 2010

Help Me Save Lives!

I received an e-mail last night from the SADS Foundation. It was a letter (see below) from Dr. Michael Ackerman, President of the SADS Foundation, requesting help to raise money for a $50,000.00 match Medical Educational Grant from Fed Ex C.E.O. Fredrick Smith. Mr. Smith holds the SADS Foundation close to his heart as well, due to the death of his daughter from Long QT. The SADS Foundation is $6,000.00 short from their $50,000.00 match to get the $50,000.00 grant money from Mr. Smith.

Once I saw this e-mail, I sent an e-mail back asking if the money we raised could help go to the Medical Educational Grant. I can’t think of a better way to use this money then to help educate those who can properly diagnose SADS conditions. Many children go miss-diagnosed with other conditions until it is too late. Typically they are diagnosed with seizer disorders and placed on seizer medication. Yet they continue to have syncope, and at times, die. It is a sad truth that many doctors don’t know what Long QT and other SADS conditions are, or how to diagnose them. As I have said many times, we are very blessed to have had our son diagnosed shortly after birth, which saved his and many others in our family’s lives.

Please help me sore to our $2,000.00 goal, as we are almost half way there! Let’s save lives together and get this much needed money to the SADS Foundation.

With all our hearts,
Melissa, Eric, Cache, and family

Letter from Dr. Michal Ackerman:

As many of you know, I serve as President of the Board of the SADS (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes) Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works with families who are affected by Long QT Syndrome and other sudden death predisposing, genetic heart rhythm disorders.

Recently, the SADS Foundation was offered a challenge grant of $50,000 by Mr. Frederick Smith, President & CEO of Fed Ex. Mr. Smith lost his daughter, Wendy, a few years ago, due to a medical misdiagnosis of Long QT. He has become a staunch supporter of the work of the Foundation, and has offered this grant to the SADS Foundation in order to advance our Medical Education Program.

As you know, there is a great need to bridge the knowledge gap regarding SADS conditions. This program will facilitate early recognition and accurate diagnosis and treatment of Long QT and other genetic heart rhythm abnormalities by implementing strategies to ensure that healthcare providers have all available current and relevant information. With the establishment of this program, we also hope to increase the education of primary care physicians that would be able to then identify possible SADS conditions and refer them to the appropriate expert.

We're only $6,000 shy of our $50,000 challenge goal. I have set a personal goal to try to raise $5,000 on behalf of all of the families that I serve. I am hoping to raise this sum by May 10th so that we can announce the launch of the Medical Education Program at the Heart Rhythm Society meeting in Denver.

Tax-deductible donations to the SADS Foundation can be made securely by clicking on the "Donate Now" button below. These gifts will be matched by Mr. Smith until our challenge goal is met. I also have pledged to match the first $1,000 of personal donations in addition to my annual gift to the Foundation. Although I have not actively solicited for support for the SADS Foundation before now, many of you have learned about SADS and have already made generous gifts to the Foundation. I am deeply grateful for those gifts and for all the contributions that have been made to support this important work.

I am proud of the outstanding work of the SADS Foundation, and continue to be hopeful that as awareness grows, not only among the general population, but also among the medical profession, needless deaths like Wendy's can be prevented.

Thank you for your support of this important program.

Michael J. Ackerman, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Pharmacology
Director of Mayo Clinic's Long QT Syndrome Clinic and Windland Smith Rice Sudden Death Genomics Laboratory
President of the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Foundation