The Chad Foundation For Athletes and Artists

  For Immediate Use: September 7, 2000
Contact: Arista, President and Founder
PRESS RELEASE (212)-935-4503;


THE CHAD FOUNDATION FOR ATHLETES & ARTISTS to sponsor "A Heart For Sports" -  free medical screenings for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, for students at FOUNTAIN VALLEY High School

In honor of Scotty Lang, Fountain Valley High School Football Star


WHO: The Chad Foundation for Athletes and Artists, named in honor of Chad Alan Butrum (April 29, 1967 - April 23, 1994), who died suddenly while playing flag football of a heart failure, (dilated cardiomyopathy) with no previous family history, similar to heart conditions that took the lives of basketball greats, Hank Gathers, and Reggie Lewis and 16-year-old Scotty Lang of Fountain Valley High School. Chad was just 26 years old. The non-profit, charitable organization was founded by his mother in his name to inspire youth to live as Chad did "healthy body/healthy mind" by sponsoring athletic events which promote substance-free living (e.g.) anti-drugs and alcohol abuse), and as artists, creating art which inspires traditional American morals and values. As The Chad Foundation for Athletes and Artists wishes to raise the awareness of Sudden Death in Young Athletes, and support heart research it has chosen as its primary beneficiary, The Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Heart Center. The foundation is also dedicated to providing every high school and college age athlete and student with an echocardiogram screening, regardless of their ability to pay.

WHEN: Saturday, September 16, 2000, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Fountain Valley High School, 17816 Bushard Street, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

WHAT: The Chad Foundation for Athletes and Artists, is sponsoring the non-profit organization, A Heart for Sports, "First Free On-site Medical Screening Day for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) for students at Fountain Valley High School. The day is dedicated to the memory of Scotty Lang, a 16-year-old Fountain Valley High School football star who passed away in November 1999 during football practice from HCM. "Participating in this event with A Heart for Sports is one of the greatest tributes I can think of to Scotty," expressed Cindy Lang, Scotty's mother and a champion for HCM research and prevention. "Through efforts like this, we hope to prevent other parents from experiencing the anguish we have gone through in losing our son so unexpectedly to this terrible disease." SonoSite, Inc. and Fountain Valley Regional Hospital are among the key sponsors. A Heart for Sports Foundation will welcome several pro-athletes, city officials, and world-renowned cardiologists to the September 16th event for both the screening and the on-site entertainment being hosted throughout the day. Dr. Barry Maron, a cardiologist from the Minneapolis Heart Institute and one of the country's foremost heart experts, will attend the screening. Dr. Maron is offering his additional support by conducting a lecture at Cedar-Sinai Hospital on Friday, September 15th to discuss the HCM study and collection of data that he will be spearheading . A freelance film crew will be on site to begin gathering footage for a future documentary film that will recount the stories of several families who have suffered the loss of family members to this tragic disease. Chuck Morrell, an affiliate of A Heart for Sports, who is a former pro football player and producer also plans a documentary Public Awareness Film Project on HCM, entitled, "No Warning.". Mr. Morrell lost five members of his family to HCM, the "silent killer.." "Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy" (abnormal thickening of the left ventricular wall)- is considered the most common hidden killer among young athletes and 1 in 500 may carry the gene. A study by the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research found of 134 athletes who died of heart problems between 1985-95, the majority (62%) were high school students. In a recent six-month period- Aug. 18, 1995, to Feb. 17, - 14 sudden cardiac deaths occurred across the USA. - All were male athletes, aged 13-18, who had physicals and were cleared to compete. In Italy and Japan electrocardiographs are mandatory for screening athletes and in Italy are paid for by the government. .In Italy, a national program to screen athletes under age 35 for heart problems has significantly cut the rate of sudden death. In the Corrado study, of the 22 athletes found to have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, no one died during the more than 8 years of follow-up, leading to the conclusion that screening for heart abnormalities can reduce the incidence of sports related death. In the U.S., in an effort to reduce the risk of sudden death among apparently healthy young athletes, the American Heart Association called for mandatory screening of all high school and college athletes and submitted specific guidelines. A recent survey of more than 800 National Collegiate Athletic schools found many campus screening programs inadequate, many using doctors without cardiac training and failing to ask key questions about family history and physical warning signs such as fainting, and shortness of breath

In the recent "Chad Foundation Free Day of Echocardiograms for Athletes at North Hollywood High School," out of the 52 athletes screened, two minor abnormalities were found, a small hole in the heart and a very mild thickening of the walls of the left side of the heart. Dr. Pierre Wong, Director of Echocardiography and Transplant Cardiology at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Heart Center, said the two athletes could still play but recommended to the athlete's parents follow up screening by a cardiologist. Echocardiograms which range from $1400 to $2000 are normally not covered by insurance companies and HMO's for screening young athletes but medical experts consider echocardiograms- ultra sound tests that are painless and non-invasive, the best way to detect structural heart disorders.

The primary mission of A Heart for Sports Foundation, founded by Seaneen Greaves, is to make these screenings available for free to as many students as possible while encouraging ongoing research into potential treatments for the disease.

WHY: The Chad Foundation for Athletes and Artists and A Heart For Sports are dedicated to providing every high school age athlete and student with an echocardiogram screening, regardless of their ability to pay. The sister non-profit organizations also advocate having An AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) in every High School, College and Recreational center- (wholeheartedly supported by Dr. Siegal of Cedars Sinai in Beverly Hills), the creation of a National Standardized Questionnaire for Screening Athletes, which contain questions that can screen for potential heart problems, and lastly, A National Register on Sudden Death in Youth and Young Athletes, which will help doctors research preventive measures and more effective screening methods.

PROJECTS: The Chad Foundation is currently meeting with legislators on the east and west coasts to garner their support on the above issues to initiate measures to prevent Sudden Death in Young Athletes. and will also begin work in New York in organizing the 1st Free Echocardiogram Screening for High School Athletes on the East Coast. The foundation also did a video for McGraw Hill School Book Program which will be shown in 5000 schools which introduces the classic poem, "To An Athlete Dying Young"; also, a documentary celebrating the lives of young athletes who died of Sudden Death in Sports is planned. 

Arista Burtrum's contact number, Sept. 15-19: (714) 799-4887

Chad Alan Butrum

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