AJ DeLaGarza of the Los Angeles Galaxy knows a few things about heart, especially after winning three MLS Cup Championships. But, he has learned even more after his son, Luca, fought for his life against a rare Congenital Heart Defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome with a Restricted Atrial Septum.
Luca spent all seven days of his life at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. Thanks to the world class pediatric surgeons and cardiologists, facilities, and medical advances, Luca was given a courageous shot at life. And though the DeLaGarzas held their son for the first and last time at CHLA, they are thankful for the care Luca received.
Nearly every 1 in 110 babies is born with a CHD and 50% of all children born with a CHD will require at least one invasive surgery in their lifetime. CHDs are the leading cause of all infant deaths in the US, even more than childhood cancer, yet the research is grossly underfunded.
The DeLaGarzas have raised awareness and over $27,000 in funds for children with CHDs. All proceeds are tax-deductible and go directly to the Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. Any amount, great or small, will make a difference in the lives of many young heart patients and their families, and will help create hope and build heart-healthy futures for children like Luca, and beyond.
Photo Credit: Robert Mora | Mora Creative Studio