City Social Magazine

MAR-APR 2017

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Page 9 of 59

10 R E A D U S o N L I N E A T W W W . C I T Y S o C I A L . C o M 10 Jump Start Your Heart Promoting Healthy Hearts in Student Athletes Founded by Dr. Steven Kelley and Mrs. Danielle Kelley, FNP in 2008, Jump Start Your Heart, Inc. (JSYH) is a local nonprofit committed to decreasing the incidence of sudden cardiac deaths and other cardiovascular diseases within high school athlete populations in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas. "Let's save lives together as we continue to raise awareness regard- ing sudden cardiac death, healthy eating and exercise in young athletes," states Mrs. Kelley, who also serves as Executive Director of JSYH. Through preventive and urgent care, their mission is to detect and identify the obstructive forms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy—a disease that enlarges the heart muscle. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is regarded as the leading cause of sudden cardiac deaths amongst student athletes, including the death of Glen Oaks High School athlete Shannon Veal in 2008. Already involved in the fight against heart disease due to having family who'd survived the affliction, the Kelley's were shocked at the collapse and subsequent death of the high school athlete. Mrs. Kelley recalls having known Veal as one of two girls who routinely played at a local recreation center and extremely well, at that. A year later, the couple was equally disheartened to learn of the death of twenty- three-year-old Jim Griffin, a teammate of their son's, at Samford University. Like Veal, he passed away from an enlarged heart without ever having been screened. It is for their memory, athletes like them, and the families of students afflicted with cardiovascular abnormalities that the Kelley's first began the nonprofit; they founded the organization in order to prevent future deaths from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, as well as to stress the importance of addressing the health needs and concerns of student athletes overall. Their chief goal is to enhance community, if not national, awareness of this condition and increase participation so that screenings become routine in student athlete populations. By Alexis Egen Photo by Darryl Bell Photo by Darryl Bell

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