Giving hope to others through the spirit of one child, we are dedicated to the healing hearts of children, So that he or she can grow in love, peace, and happiness. We believe and teach that giving is the way to accomplish our hopes for them.
DJ’s Hope 4 Hearts was founded in 2012 to honor the memory of its namesake, DJ Merriman. DJ’s heart was damaged by a virus when he was an infant, and from the time he was 17 months old, he was dependent on a pacemaker to keep his heart pumping. DJ was a well-loved young man who tried to make a difference in the lives of others, always helping anyone who was in need. His gestures of kindness could be as simple as a smile, or as grand as raising money for his favorite hospital’s “Radiothon” fundraiser. In January 2012, 17 year old DJ passed away in his sleep from cardiomyopathy, also known as an enlarged heart. He took with him the hearts of many, but inspired those of us left behind to make a difference.
DJ’s Hope 4 Hearts was established to follow DJ’s lead of helping others and assist families who are touched by childhood heart diseases. When a child becomes sick, it is a life changing event for the entire family. Beyond the stress of an ill child, parents face additional worries including medical and medication costs, navigating time off of work, and finding childcare for siblings. Even families with insurance often have significant financial obligations since even the best insurance might not cover all costs. For example, some illnesses require lifelong medication, which may only be partially covered. Additionally, there are costs associated with daily trips to the hospital (including food and sometimes overnight lodging). Frankly, it can be overwhelming as all of the costs add up, while a parent is just trying to care for their ill child.
DJ’s Hope 4 Hearts has a two-fold mission. We seek to become an educational resource for children and their families on the signs and symptoms of cardiomyopathy and other deadly heart diseases, and provide financial support to families dealing with heart diseases. The financial support falls into two categories. The first category is for the children. Our gifts might include a gift certificate for the child to go shopping or tickets to a ball game, so they can forget about being sick for a while. In the future, we hope to create a scholarship program to assist the kids with pursuing their education. The second category is for the parents. DJ’s Hope 4 Hearts provides assistance to parents facing financial hardships due to their child’s illness to help cover costs such as medical expenses, family lodging near medical facilities, or medication. Sadly, some children lose their fight and parents are faced with significant funeral costs. Parents often do not have resources set aside for funerals, as no parent expects to bury their child. We will provide assistance in such instances as well. Please see link on the webpage for more information if you need help, or know someone who does.
DJ’s Hope 4 Hearts’ vision is to help children and families when these life changing events take place and to provide assistance to as many children and families as possible. Our organization is 100% volunteer run, with minimal overhead. Nearly every penny of every dollar raised goes directly to a child or family in need. Please consider supporting us to let the families know they are not forgotten in their toughest hour and to honor the memory of a wonderful and inspirational young man. We welcome generosity in any form: cash, checks, gift cards, event tickets and other donations that people wish to share in support of our hope for help. DJ’s Hope 4 Hearts has already made a positive impact on the lives of numerous children and their families. We are buoyed and energized to continue to grow our organization by the difference we have made so far.
Their website has a lot of great information about Congenital Heart Disease HERE.
Here is a great video about DJ called The Last Meow:
Please consider helping this wonderful organization!
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