Arizona Health & Living February 2015 Edition West Valley

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HEART OF THE COMMUNITY Information Courtesy of the Anthony Bates Foundation and Sharon Bates

Anthony Bates Foundation “Screening Young Hearts… Saving Young Lives” In 2000, Phoenix mom Sharon Bates experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when her only son, Anthony, passed unexpectedly from undiagnosed Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Anthony was 20-years-old, a lifelong athlete, honor’s student, and football player at Kansas State University. Tragically, Anthony’s early passing may have been prevented with a proper heart screening. “Each year he was required to have a ‘pre-participation sports physical.’ Heart examinations were not part of this annual process. Anthony's HCM might have been detected when he had an electrocardiogram (EKG) in conjunction with surgery on his finger, but there was no detection of his heart problem than either,” Bates says. “Though EKGs are required in surgery, 10 percent of people with HCM have normal EKGs. Apparently, Anthony must have been in that 10 percent. Young, strong and a dedicated athlete, Anthony never complained of any symptoms. Sadly, his perfect health was an illusion.” According to the Mayo Clinic, “Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease in which the heart muscle (myocardium) becomes abnormally thick (hypertrophied). The thickened heart muscle can make it harder for the heart to pump blood. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy often goes undiagnosed because many people with the disease have few, if any, symptoms.” The Anthony Bates Foundation (ABF), founded in Anthony’s honor, adds this: “HCM is a genetic heart disease that attacks the heart muscle, typically during the teenage years. The only way to detect HCM is through an echocardiogram (sonogram image) of the heart. With early detection, a person can have a normal and productive life.” This condition can lead to many maladies, including sudden cardiac arrest. “When he died, I was devastated, angry, hurt, and needed to find a solution to make sense of the senselessness that had occurred to me and my family,” Sharon Bates explains. “I poured my life into the ‘after Anthony’ to build the legacy he was never provided… As I learned more about HCM, I became more stubborn in the need to protect the children of our country. HCM does not have to be a 16 February 2015 |

death sentence. With simple medications and a lifestyle change, a person can live a long and productive life.” Bates went on to found the Anthony Bates Foundation in 2002. The nonprofit’s mission is “The Anthony Bates Foundation (ABF) believes that no parent should suffer the heartbreak of losing a child to an undiagnosed cardiac malady; we seek to eliminate preventable Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). The organization will fulfill its mission by continuing our efforts to establish a nationwide heart screening program for youth, free of charge or low cost, thus solving a significant public health issue through screenings, education, collaboration and facilitation.” The ABF provides free/low-cost heart screenings across Arizona and several other states. Of course, Bates hopes her organization can continue to grow and spread awareness on a national level. In addition to providing screenings, ABF provides education to everyone from Photos courtesy of Anthony Bates Foundation

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