"Running for Young Hearts" on behalf of the Michael H. Ludwig Memorial Foundation.
Michael Ludwig died at age 9 from an undetected congenital heart defect. Michael was a solid athlete who loved life and had a passion for many sports; at times he had trouble with sustained running but always seemed to bounce right back. No one including numerous doctors and Michael's parents ever believed he was in any danger.
In the wake of the unbelievable, Michael's parents created this foundation with its aim to improve awareness, detection and treatment of life-threatening congenital heart conditions, especially among young athletes. Supporting the New York Marathon -- an excellent example of sustained running -- is consistent with the Foundation's mission and is a fitting tribute to Michael.
To date the Foundation has co-funded state of the art technology to better detect the condition Michael had and has communicated its message -- including a segment aired on the NBC Today Show -- to pay closer attention to warning signs that should be more fully explored. Last year, the Foundation sponsored a conference on improved detection of life-threatening cardiac conditions organized by Mount Sinai hospital in New York. The conference was attended by nearly 200 leading cardiologists, sonographers and technicians to share perspectives on how to improve detection and treatment through non invasive imaging techniques. Later this year, we will be participating in the American College of Cardiology's Sports Cardiology Conference and plan to fund other initiatives consistent with the Foundation's mission.
Although cardiac anomalies are the most common birth defect, most are benign. The overall benefits of athletics are well documented. Nonetheless, there are a number of rare heart conditions that, left undetected, can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. Michael's family and friends want to improve awareness through participation in events such as the New York City Marathon in an effort to help reduce the chances of similar tragedies.
For the third consecutive year, the Michael Ludwig Memorial Foundation has been selected by the New York Road Runners an an eligible not-for-profit to assemble a team of runners to participate in the 2012 ING New York City Marathon Community Charity Program. Preparing to run the New York Marathon is a huge commitment, requiring nearly 20 weeks of dedicated training typically 5-6 days each week. In return, the accomplishment of finishing the marathon provides a life long memory. We also wish to thank the team of runners who participated in the 2011 and 2010 ING New York City Marathon on behalf of the Foundation and their generous and kind supporters.
We extend our deep gratitude to "Michael's Team: Running for Young Hearts" in the 2012 New York City Marathons and to their families, friends, and colleagues. We wish the runners the best of luck for a great race November 4th with favorable weather and a most meaningful day!
Please visit the Foundation website atwww.michaelludwigfoundation.org.