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Volleyball Tournament Raises Funds, Awareness To Fight Sudden Cardiac Death Syndrome

Posted: Tuesday, August 4, 2015 – 1:31 PM

PICTURED: Front from left: Hui Gao, cardiac sonographer; Arista Butram, Chad Foundation; Dr. Jay Pruetz and Erin McGlew, volunteer. Middle row: Dr. Pierre Wong, Novel Castillo, sonographer; Dr. Alan Lewis and Martha Hammer, volunteer. Back from left: Patrick Sullivan, David McNamara, volunteer and Anna Potter, RN volunteer.

Eight teams competed in the 21st annual Chad Volleyball Tournament in Hermosa Beach with proceeds benefiting the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) Heart Institute and the Chad Foundation for Athletes and Artists.

“The Chad Volleyball Tournament is a wonderful event every year that raises awareness of Sudden Cardiac Death in young people,” says Chad Foundation president Arista Butrum, who established the foundation in memory of her son, Chad. Chad died of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) at 26, with no history of heart disease.

“Arista tragically and unexpectedly lost her son to dilated cardiomyopathy. It seemed such a shame—he was so young, vital, and full of life,” says CHLA cardiologist Pierre Wong, who has participated in the event for years.

At the event, Wong and other CHLA doctors performed 48 EKGs and 46 echocardiograms, with a finding rate of six anomalies. The Chad Foundation has provided 7,200 screenings to date.

“Preventive heart screenings can help detect HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), which is a leading cause of Sudden Cardiac Death in young athletes,” Butrum explains, noting that HCM rarely displays symptoms until sudden cardiac death occurs. “I am so grateful for our supporters who consider our work to safeguard young hearts important.”

One child was two years old when he was received a preventative screening that detected a hole in his heart. He is now a thriving at age 9.  

“Arista resolved to turn Chad’s passing into something positive and she reached out to us at CHLA for our help and support,” says Wong, who maintains hours at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles – South Bay outpatient center. “We eagerly agreed to participate and since then we have been actively involved in every annual CHAD event. It makes us feel good to donate our time for such a worthy cause.”

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