What is a Hero? A hero is a person who has given their life to something bigger than themselves.
Now, imagine a Saturday morning like any other, where you’re watching your child playing soccer with their team, when suddenly, they collapse - never to take a breath again. This is your o
wn child, whom you watched grow up, receive healthy checkups, pass all their physicals, and never display any concerning health issues.
Parents who experience a tragedy such as this have two options: sit in their grief or turn their grief into action. When you combine a hero with resiliency, grit, and sheer determination, you get a group of individuals whose mission is to save as many children’s lives from the undetected heart condition that took their own child’s life.
I am so honored to work with a handful of individuals who epitomize this. These heroes have turned tragedy into a lifesaving mission by making it their goal to coordinate and provide heart screenings to as many youth as possible in order to detect and prevent any other child from suffering from the effects of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). I will never be able to put into words how much of an honor it is to work alongside such brave parents who have transformed the grief of losing a child to SCA into a mission to save the lives of as many youth as possible from this hidden heart condition.
At the Cody Stephens Go Big or Go Home Memorial Foundation, I’ve had the pleasure not only to work with inspiring individuals, but to be led by them. I’m inspired by these families not only in the Lone Star State, but across the country who had the courage to carry on their child’s legacy. I cannot imagine how challenging that could be.
Several families who have had a son or daughter’s life saved by a heart screening have spearheaded their own heart screening programs in an effort to detect and prevent as many other cases of SCA as possible.