Boston Celtics Forward Ryan Gomes To Team Up with Parent Heart Watch To Raise Awareness about Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Celtics forward's Hoops for Heart Health organization to partner with Parent Heart Watch

Ryan Gomes

Sam DePina, Director of Operations for Boston Public Schools; Arlene Mahoney, Assistant Director for Health Services for Boston Public Schools; Rachel Moyer, co-founder of Parent Heart Watch; Ryan Gomes; Paula Sullivan, Director of Athletics for Stonehill College.

Boston (July 19, 2007) - Boston Celtics forward Ryan Gomes and Parent Heart Watch have announced Gomes' non-profit organization, Hoops for Heart Health has formed a partnership with the goal of raising awareness and funds about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), with Gomes becoming the national spokesman for both organizations. As their first joint initiative, the two organizations will donate Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) to the Health Careers Academy, a public high school located in Boston; and to Stonehill College in Easton, MA, where Gomes is hosting a week-long overnight basketball camp for area children. In the future, Gomes' Hoops for Heart Health and Parent Heart Watch plan to film a joint public service announcement to raise awareness of SCA, and donate AEDs in various NBA cities throughout the 2007-08 NBA season in conjunction with Celtics' road games.

Shortly after being drafted by the Celtics in the 2005 NBA Draft (50th overall), Gomes announced plans to form Hoops For Heart Health address the problem of SCA, specifically among high school, college and professional athletes. With the help of college basketball coaches and cardiologists throughout the country, the mission is to first educate student-athletes about SCA, and then to support testing and the placement of medical devices, such as Portable Defibrillators, in gymnasiums and athletic fields around the country. Eventually the goal is to also provide support for families, teammates, classmates and coaches after an athlete has died from SCA.

"I started Hoops for Heart Health to bring together the basketball community in order to raise awareness to the growing problem of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in student athletes," said Gomes. "However, I was moved to meet Rachel Moyer after learning of all of the amazing work that Parent Heart Watch has done across the country. Hopefully we can work together to prevent SCA and help save lives."

Gomes contacted Parent Heart Watch (PHW) co-founder Rachel Moyer this winter upon learning about the organization. Moyer helped others form PHW after losing her son Gregory to SCA in 2000. PHW grew from the friendship of Rachel Moyer, PA; Linette Derminer, OH; Sharon Bates, AZ; and Laura Friend, TX, all of whom lost their children, to sudden cardiac arrest resulting from undiagnosed heart problems. The organization is a state-by-state network of parents dedicated to reducing the often disastrous effects of SCA in children. Parent Heart Watch is an organization founded by parents, who have either lost a child to SCA or whose child is at known risk for SCA.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for me to meet a basketball star like Ryan Gomes," said Moyer. "He is willing to use his popularity to make people aware of preventive measures that will, without question, save lives. Parent Heart Watch applauds Ryan for taking this initiative to 'Let the Beat Go On...', and we look forward to working together."

For more information on Hoops For Heart Health, please visit www.hoopsforhearthealth.com. For more information on Parent Heart Watch, please visit www.parentheartwatch.org

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