The chad foundation for athletes and artists

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Arista, Pres. & Founder ~ 917-334-1194, 345 W. 55th St., No. 8E, NYC 10019


Chad Alan Butrum

April ’67 – April ‘94

Press Release


10 September 2010 Phone: 917-334-1194

The Chad Foundation Provides Preventive Cardiac Screenings to Athletes at Rice High School in Harlem to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death and Identify early High Cholesterol, Diabetes, Obesity

What: The Chad Foundation for Athletes and Artists will provide Cardiac Screenings to athletes at Rice High School in Harlem,. The screenings: an echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, blood pressure test, BMI (body mass index) and screenings for high cholesterol and diabetes with a simple finger-stick, help to detect lethal abnormalities such as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) and prevent Sudden Cardiac Death as well as identify potential cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes in school-age students. The screenings, which would normally cost $3,000, will be provided for a nominal donation of $20 per student.
Why: The number one cause of Sudden Cardiac Death in young athletes is HCM, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (abnormal thickening of the heart muscle.) The abnormal gene exists in one in every 500 births. The CDC says 3,000 young people between 15 and 34 yrs. die annually of Sudden Cardiac Death. African-American males are more prone to die from HCM than whites (44% blacks vs. 25% whites). A recent study of 249 teenagers found that 80 percent had an unhealthy buildup of cholesterol on artery walls, often the result of eating high-fat foods. Between 1969 to1999, the obesity rate among Americans aged 18 t0 29 more than doubled from 5% to 12%. One in three children who are born in 2000 will develop diabetes.
When: Saturday, 25th of September, 2010 from 10AM to 3PM
Where: Rice High School (Library and Cafeteria)

74 West 124th St. (at corner of Lenox)

Harlem, NY 10017 (2 train to 125th stop)
Who: The Chad Foundation for Athletes and Artists will provide the screenings with the donated services of cardiologists and ultrasound technicians from Mt. Sinai Medical Center and nurses from the Cardiovascular Genetics Program at NYU School of Medicine. The screenings are supported through corporate partners, Medtronics and The Green Foundation. Philips is a major partner providing ultrasound ECHO machines and ECG Pagewriters. Ultrasound manufacturer, SonoSite, will also provide portable laptop-size equipment for the echocardiograms. The Office of Black Ministries will provide lunch for the medical staff and community volunteers.

The Gift of Heart and Art”

The Chad Foundation for Athletes and Artists is a non-profit, charitable organization founded in honour of young Chad Butrum who collapsed suddenly and died at 26 yrs. of age while playing football in Van Nuys, CA with no history of heart disease. His foundation inspires youth to live as he did- “Healthy body/mind/ spirit.” (Chad never smoked a cigarette or drank an alcoholic beverage his entire Life.) Chad has provided 23 heart screenings in 5 states and abroad (in Austria and Sweden, screening 26 countries of athletes participating in the “Homeless Streetsoccer World Cups”) for a total of 5,500 persons screened. Post 9-11, Chad provided 2,000 NYPD officers with complete cardiovascular screenings at The NY Police Academy. The Chad Players have performed 6 off Broadway multi-cultural performances to challenge the mind and heal the spirit (“Days of Wine and Roses,” Off Broadway and, in Atlantic City, their production was sponsored by “The Atlantic Commission on Missing and Abused Children” as the Community Event of the year to deter teens from alcoholism.) – “The Gift of Heart and Art.”
Chad Foundation Screening Program

The Chad Foundation was the first in the nation to provide “Free Echocardiogram Screenings to High School Athletes” at North Hollywood High School in 2000. In their pilot program for expanded heart screenings, organized by Chad and Living Heart, out of 200 students screened for hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, arterial elasticity, and the echocardiogram; results found one-third of those students tested were at risk for one or more of the above cardio risk factors such as, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, raised blood sugar and/or structural heart anomalies. These students were referred to their family physicians for follow up treatment. The echocardiogram, which most insurance companies do not cover for prescreening athletic examinations, costs between $1500 and $2000, but the ultrasound test is considered by medical experts as the best diagnostic tool to detect structural anomalies such as Hypertophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), a disease of the heart muscle which is the No.1 killer in Sudden Cardiac Deaths in Young Athletes, and took the lives of young basketball greats, Reggie Lewis and Hank Gathers.

A recent survey done by researchers from U.C.L.A. and the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation found more than 800 National Collegiate Athletic Associations have campus screening programs for potential heart problems that are inadequate, using doctors without cardiac training, and failing to ask key questions about family history, such as history of fainting, dizziness, exclusion of sports, history of premature cardiac death under 35 years of age. Chad includes cardio history in their questionnaires.

On average, Chad has found 10 heart anomalies for every 50 students screened. In the recent “Annual Chad Heart Screening” in Los Angeles in June, 19 anomalies were found, two of the more serious: " one individual was found with significant aortic insufficiency and a dilated aortic root – he was advised to obtain formal cardiac follow-up; another individual was found to have Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome – with potential risk for sudden death due to an arrhythmia.  The second patient is scheduled for a catheter ablation which should completely eliminate any cardiac risk and allow the patient to return to full athletic activities in a short period of time.”

. For the last 3 years, The Chad Foundation has been a major partner of “John Hopkins Heart Hype Screening Initiative” which has provided free Echocardiograms and ECG’s to hundreds of high school star athletes competing in state finals at Morgan University in Baltimore. The event also honours former Boston Celtic star, Reggie Lewis, who died of HCM at just 27 yrs. old. JHMI instituted a national database to house all statistics from Chad and other screening organizations thus beginning the first research database into HCM and other anomalies found through prescreening initiatives in the U.S. Dr. Theodore Abraham of JHMI who is leading this initiative says, “We hope this drive will lead us to better screening methodology and drive the search for solutions to early diagnosis of otherwise fatal cardiac illness in the young. All collected information will be housed in our database and used for future drives as well as to help persons diagnosed with any anomaly to seek follow up help either through their own physician or the Johns Hopkins system. This is an important step designed to help doctors understand how conditions such as heart disease or diabetes start, especially in this younger population where present studies do not exist.”

Countries like Japan and Italy have been screening their athletes for years; the ECG is mandatory in order to play sports. The results of the Italian study, which screened 40,000 athletes over a 26-year period, are gaining much support globally. Dr. Gaetano Thiene of the Padua Center for Sports Medicine said, “In over 26 yrs. of preparticipation screenings, Sudden Cardiac Death was reduced by 90% which proves that preparticipation screening is a life-saving tool.” For the first time in its history, the NFL is considering making Echocardiograms mandatory for draftees. For more info on the foundation or its “Cardiovascular Screening Program for Student Athletes,” contact, Arista, (917-334-1194), or visit the website,

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Recent Victims of Sudden Cardiac Death

-Marc-Vivien Foé, 28, (1 May 1975 – 26 June 2003) was a Cameroonian international footballer, who played in midfield for both club and country. With success in the French League, and stints in the English Premier League, his sudden death, while in the middle of an international competitive fixture, came as a shock to the worldwide footballing community.[1] He was posthumously decorated with the Commander of the National Order of Valour
-CAMBRIDGE, MA – 2008 Sixty high school students gathered in a circle on a Cambridge playgournd, shielding candles from cold gusts. They will not see what he would have become. A few nights after his college acceptance, just three weeks before graduation, Jude Odige’s heart stopped. After a game of pick-up basketball – his greatest joy, his heart just stopped at just 18 yrs. old.
-Taylor Allan, 16, May 8th 1991 – April 26th 2008. Cause of Death ARVC (Arrthymogenic Right Ventricular cardiomyopathy) Her father Ken Allan said, “Understand the symptoms, don’t take chances, see your Doctor, insist on a specialist (cardiologist) to review test results. Please believe me when I say “FAINTNG IS NOT NORMAL FOR A TEENAGER.”

-NFL Player Gaines Adams dies at 26, January 17, 2010 NFL star and Chicago Bears player Gaines Adams passed away Sunday morning from cardiac arrest.

-Tyler Sikora - A 15-Year-Old Collapses and Dies During Basketball Game, 22nd May 2010. An eighth grader is remembered at Friday night vigil. Tyler collapsed and died while playing basketball at his high school north of Los Angeles.

-May 23, 2010, Former major league pitcher Jose Lima dead at 37, in Los Angeles.

-Jeron Lewis: College Basketball Player Dies on Court at 21 years old, Jan 15, 2010. The South Indiana player had an enlarged heart

-Tuesday, January 15, 2008 Medical examiner rules Kennedy died of heart disease
TAMPA, Fla. -- Major league pitcher Joe Kennedy, 28-year-old, was afflicted with a condition that caused his heart to suddenly stop beating at his in-laws' home on November 23, when he collapsed and later died.

Ryan Shay, 28, a top-ranked U.S. marathon runner training for the Olympics, suffered from cardiac arrest part way through the 2007 New York marathon.  Shay, who hailed from a prominent Michigan family of runners, had been diagnosed with a large heart at 14, and his brother had quit competitive sports after being diagnosed with arrhythmia.

Damien Nash, 24, a football player with the Denver Broncos, died in 2007 of an undiagnosed heart problem after playing in a charity game to benefit a foundation named in his brother Darris’ honor.  Darris, a heart transplant recipient, had suffered from a cardiomyopathy that was not believed to be genetic. 3 of 4


-Mon May 17, 2010 -“ 17-year-old Zac Herold forced to retire before first pro match. Herold suffers from the condition Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) – which causes abnormal thickening of a part of the heart muscle. With this condition, under strenuous exercise, there is a risk of developing a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmia.  Unfortunately the only way to reduce this risk is to put significant life-long restrictions on exercise.”

“Announcing my retirement from soccer at this age is something I never, ever thought would happen to me,” said Zac Herold. “I am grateful to Dr. Smith, and all the specialists I’ve seen over the last few months – this news was very hard to take but I know it’s the best decision for me and my health. My parents have been with me every step of the way, and it means so much to me that I’m able to `retire' as a Toronto FC player.”

-Michaela Gagna was crowned Miss Massachusetts in June of 2006 and went on to compete for the title of Miss America 2007. Despite her heart condition, LongQT Syndrome, Michaela is an accomplished athlete, competing regularly in soccer and basketball, and is a MIAA certified high school track and field coach. Additionally, she is a certified CPR/AED trainer. “At 17 years old, my life was squarely put in perspective when I was told I could have died during the first unprotected years of my life. I turned my obstacles into opportunities, and my work is done in the memory of those who were not given that second chance.”

-Eric Licata, at 17 while having his wisdom teeth pulled, his oral surgeon detected an arrhythmia. Further testing revealed HCM (hypertorphic cardiomyopathy). Eric found The Chad Foundation on the web, a national screening organization and asked them to come and do heart screening at his high school, Newport Beach Harbor High, in CA so that no other student would die. (A 16 yr. old water polo player had died a few years earlier from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.) Today, Eric graduated college in Dec. 2009 and is working as a business consultant in the wine industry.

Domenico Fioravanti, 30, Olympic gold medalist in the 100- and 200-metre breaststroke at the 2000 Sydney Games, was diagnosed in 2004 during his native Italy’s annual screening for hypertrophic cardiomyopathies.  By Italian law, he had to withdraw from competitive sports and now has an implanted defibrillator.  Though, Fioravanti has been okayed by his cardiologist to pursue some active sport.

Nicholas Knapp, at 17, was a star recruit for Northwestern University’s basketball team in 1994, until he collapsed from cardiac arrest in the middle of a game.  Knapp was revived on the scene, and later, in hospital care, was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, after which he had a defibrillator implanted.

For more info on the foundation or its “Cardiovascular Screening Program for Student Athletes, contact, Arista, (917-334-1194), or visit the website,

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