Grieving parents team cardiologists to research heart conditions in young people

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"Gone in a heartbeat."

It's an agonizing phrase you hear from parents who lost a child this way. Each week an estimated 60 young adults die from Sudden Cardiac Death. Many could have been prevented with a simple ECG test.

This is a story about a handful of those grieving parents who are now on the front lines with cardiologists and a slew of volunteers to catch these fatal heart conditions before it's too late.

They call themselves "Young Hearts For Life" and since 2006 they have been doing ECG testing on thousands of high school and college students throughout Chicagoland.

They do it for free.  The organization is run completely on volunteers and donations from the community.

Since they brought the testing to area schools, they have screened 190,000 young men and women and in that time, identified over 2,400 that had potentially life threatening heart conditions.

Founder and medical director Dr. Joesph Marek says it's such a simple solution.

"They could reduce the sudden death rate by over 85% with this quick, simple and painless test. It's just not in our DNA to have our children die before us so if we are able to save a life then we feel we've made a big difference," he says.

For more information on Young Hearts for Life's volunteer opportunities or their upcoming charity run:


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