Sunday, April 21, 2013

Come Out and Run! The 5K for C.A.D.: Conquering Aortic Disease

Chuck Doherty Running in 2010
On April 15, 2012, the unthinkable happened. 

A loving husband and father, a strong young man, was struck down in his prime. Charles "Chuck" Doherty was just 34 years old when he lost his life without warning. Why? Chuck was among the children born in 1977 with a bicuspid aortic valve. He died from complications related to that valve following what was for him an ordinary eight mile run.

You can read more about him and his family here, at the Charles A. Doherty Memorial Foundation. Those of you reading this who have a bicuspid aortic valve yourselves will recognize that you share some things with him - his love of athletics and activity in general are a common theme in those with BAV.

Reading about him, we would all have loved to know Chuck. We can never meet him now. In a moment of time, he was taken.

There is something we can do. We can tell his story, and remind doctors that valvular heart disease is not just a risk to the elderly. It can take the young and the strong.

We can also raise funds that can be applied to research. There are questions that need answers. Do those with bicuspid aortic valves need special guidelines for monitoring and intervention for their BAV? After all, those with BAV are extraordinarily active and athletic. Given their unusual endurance and strength, could at least some of them follow a different path than their tri-leaflet counterparts? Could their first obvious symptom be sudden death?

Chuck Doherty lost his own life, but through those who love him, he will save the lives of others. Let's join them in the quest to Conquer Aortic Disease. Register for the race, or donate here.