Sharing the Hope with Tyler Sajdak

Tyler Sajdak (Shy-dock) is a 30 year old HLHS patient. He had three Open Heart Surgeries at Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI. His family moved to Iowa when he was 3 and he began seeing a cardiology team at what is now Children’s Nebraska in Omaha, MI. He grew up involved in as many sports as he could play, eventually lettering in tennis in high school and playing baseball through his sophomore year, and performing in the band and the forensics team. He graduated from Calvin University in Grand Rapids, MI in 2016 with a degree in political science. In 2018, he met the group that would found Single Ventricle Patient Day at the NPC-QIC/FON Fall Learning Session that year. He has been helping plan SVPD since then. Tyler is currently getting his masters degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Higher Education and is working for the University of Pittsburgh’s Physician Assistant program as an academic administrator.

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Sharing the Hope with Erin Borkowski

Join us as we share the hope with Erin Borkowski.

Erin is a parent of a child with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) and founder of Beats for Bella, a non-profit organization that raises money to support research for cures for HLHS. Erin also works for Heart Works as an engagement manager, working with them to try and cure HLHS and other server congenital heart defects.

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Sharing the Hope with Richard James

Join us as we share the hope with Richard James.

Richard is a parent of an adult who has single ventricle physiology and is the Parent/Patient Director sitting on the Board of the Fontan Outcomes Network. He has been involved in the world of collaborative health in the HLHS community going on nine years and was asked to join the board of FON last year to replace the seat vacated by Diane Pickles.

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Sharing the Hope with Dr. Keila Lopez

Join us as we share the hope with Dr. Keila Lopez.

Dr. Keila N. Lopez, a native of Chicago, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Section of Pediatric Cardiology at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine.

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Sharing the Hope with Dr. Tim Nelson

Join us as we share the hope with Dr. Tim Nelson.

Dr. Nelson is a physician/scientist trained in medicine and cardiac developmental biology. He has been driven to innovate with available technology with the goal of new product development. Congenital heart disease provides the optimal mix of challenges and opportunities to allow cross-functional teams to succeed and grow a whole new industry. 

His mission is to inspire biomedical innovation teams and solve real-world medical problems with a focus on products that will obsolete the traditional processes that define yesterday’s healthcare experience.

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Sharing the Hope with Michael Montgomery II

Join us as we share the hope with Michael Montgomery II.

Michael Montgomery II is a former NFL player. As a survivor of sudden cardiac arrest from  congenital heart disease known as Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome, Montgomery has committed countless hours towards charities and community service, facilitating access to heart screenings for communities across the country. In addition to his non-profit work, Montgomery is also a proud dog owner named Optimus. His passion for helping others and promoting heart health is evident in everything he does, and he continues to be an inspiration to aspiring youth athletes and individuals today.

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Sharing the Hope with Diane Pickles

Come share the hope with us as we interview Diane Pickles. Diane Pickles is the Program Director of SOURCE at Additional Ventures, a soon to launch large-scale genetic sequencing effort to fuel single ventricle heart disease research. Prior to joining Additional Ventures, Diane was the American Heart Association’s Program Director for One Brave Idea, an adult coronary heart disease research initiative based in Boston. Diane’s work in cardiovascular research follows two decades spent advancing policy solutions for a wide range of nonprofits in public health, education, criminal justice, and other public interest issue areas. Diane has deep expertise in patient advocacy, stakeholder engagement, project management, community organizing, media advocacy, coalition building, lobbying, and fundraising and development. A long time volunteer in the single ventricle community, Diane was a member of the Executive Leadership Team of the Fontan Outcomes Network, a longitudinal registry of single ventricle patients. She has since left the FON ELT since our interview but remains dedicated to improving care and outcomes for individuals with single ventricle heart disease. Diane and her husband have two adult sons, one of whom has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

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Sharing the Hope with Tamara Thomas

Come share the hope with us as we interview Tamara, or Tammy, Thomas. In 2007 Tamara, along with her husband Scott, joined the newly formed board of the Ohio Chapter of the Children’s Heart Foundation. CHF Ohio grew and Tammy become the Ohio Chapter President, and began serving on the National Board and Executive Committee in the Chapter Liaison capacity in 2010.  In 2014 she became the National Board President of CHF, guiding CHF through an Executive Board transition and creation of a new Strategic Plan for the organization after an 18 month planning process with a terrific team of volunteers. In 2023, Tamara began her 2nd stint as the Chairwoman of the Board for The Children’s Heart Foundation after serving on the Governance committee from 2020 – 2022, and serving as Board President 2014 – 2019.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

We are experiencing a shortfall so if you haven’t made a donation this year, please consider giving at whatever level you can!

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please consider donating to the Micah Mason Foundation so we can support both NPC-QIC and FON in their life changing work.

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