Bring Free Cardiac Screening to OPRFHS Students in 2016

This petition made change with 340 supporters!

On October 5, 2014, a then OPRFHS junior collapsed on the sidelines while at a hockey game from a sudden cardiac event.  Seemingly in perfect health, there were no prior indications that something like this would occur.  Thankfully, and only coincidentally, a trained medical practitioner was a spectator at the game and revived the student.  However, this situation could have ended tragically.  Every week the story doesn't end happily for nearly 60 students in the same age range.  In fact, we've all heard of such endings in the greater Chicago area as well as the rest of the nation.  Young lives lost with no hint that anything could go wrong.

Since the October 2014 event, several parents have contacted and even met with members of the OPRFHS administration and District 200 board about a way to potentially prevent such a tragedy.  Members of the medical board and administrative staff of Young Hearts for Life, the largest youth heart screening program in the United States, presented how this program operates at a wide range of high schools in our area in December 2014.  The screening process itself is not invasive and completely painless. Through a minimal amount of funding, often done through fundraising and supported by booster clubs NOT through school operating funds or tax dollars, and volunteer time over usually 2 school days, it is offered free of charge to ALL students at a high school, NOT just athletes.

It has now been over a year since that wake-up call to our community in the ice arena, and we don't seem any closer to a decision from the OPRFHS administration to allow a committed group of parents and community members to work with Young Hearts for Life to bring screening to the OPRFHS students in 2016.  Emails, meetings and phone calls inviting administrators to come to other screening events in the area, including one this spring at Ridgeland Commons, have not received replies.  Many other school administrations have answered the call by concerned parents and students.  Members of our West Suburban Conference are holding screenings this school year, including:  Addison Trail, Downers Grove North and South, Lyons Township and Willowbrook.  Naperville North held a screening this week and screened 1,675 students - free of charge!

By signing this petition, you are adding your voice to all those OPRF families who just want a chance to prevent a tragedy.  Let the OPRFHS administration know that the whole student is important - health as well as academics.

From the Young Hearts for Life website ( 

The Young Hearts for Life®(YH4L) Cardiac Screening Program, nationally known for its unique model,, has screened over 140,000 students for conditions that cause sudden cardiac death.  This milestone is a first for any heart screening program of this kind in the United States. Each week, sudden cardiac death claims the lives of more than 60 young adults in the United States.  YH4L has been a leader the medical community to address this problem in the Chicago area.

The YH4L heart screening program was founded by Dr. Joseph Marek in 2006 and is well known for its unique model that uses trained community volunteers to deliver a low cost, efficient screening program.  Dr. Marek, an internationally recognized cardiologist, has taught physicians across America how to run screenings for students and athletes.   Over 13,000 community volunteers have been trained to provide students with FREE ECGs through YH4L. To date, over 2000 students screened through YH4L have been identified as “at risk” students.  Of those, hundreds were found to have life threatening conditions, including Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Long QT Syndrome, Wolff-Parkinson- White Syndrome (WPW), Brugada Syndrome, and Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia.  YH4L is the largest youth heart screening program in the United States. Part of the goal of YH4L is to educate the community about sudden death in young adults and to help schools be prepared to deal with cardiac arrest if one was to occur.

Today: Marrey is counting on you

Marrey Picciotti needs your help with “Steven Isoye, Superintendent - District 200, Nathaniel Rouse, Principal - Oak Park River Forest High School, Board of Education - District 200: Bring Free Cardiac Screening to OPRFHS Students in 2016”. Join Marrey and 339 supporters today.