February is Heart Awareness Month, the perfect timing for the Colin’s Kids biennial luncheon for heart health and awareness.
Colin’s Kids, co-founded by Hopewell resident, Nancy King, and Kelly Molloy, is an organization that provides critical funding to advance medical research related to the diagnosis, life-improving treatment, cure and prevention of congenital heart defects. They also serve to provide rapid response financial assistance to economically strained families struggling to obtain the best available care for their children. Despite being the most common congenital birth defect, congenital heart defects receive a small fraction of the funding of many other childhood illnesses.
Nancy King and Kelly Molloy met in 2008 when their children, Andrew King and Colin Molloy, were born with congenital heart defects and subsequently were treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian. While there, the families became each other’s support system and built a lasting friendship in the face of unforeseen adversity.
Andrew survived a transposition of the great arteries, in part due to an arterial switch procedure that did not exist until thirty years ago. Unfortunately, Colin, diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, passed away due to surgical complications. He was only 47 days old. Even though Colin did not survive, he lives on through Colin’s Kids and the work the organization continues to do in an effort to better the lives of children and spare the heartache that so many families, like the Molloys, are all too familiar with.
In just five years, Colin’s Kids has awarded nine research grants to doctors at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons totaling over $75,000. They have also provided significant financial assistance to six families struggling to make ends meet while their child recovered from open heart surgery. Most recently, the organization assisted a family whose son, Brandon, received a heart transplant at just 15 months old.
Colin’s Kids helps in small ways too. Colin’s Kids provides infant scales to families eliminating their need to travel back and forth to the hospital for necessary weight checks. They also partner with organizations local to Hopewell such as the Cub Scouts, Girls Scouts, churches and elementary schools to make no-sew fleece blankets and get well cards for children recovering from open heart surgery.
Colin’s Kids is hosting its biennial Ladies Luncheon on Friday, February 12th from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm at Trenton Country Club.
“We are blessed with a supportive community that helps make this luncheon successful,” said King. “This year, Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton is the luncheon’s sole corporate sponsor. Local businesses support this event through donations to our silent auction and raffle.”
This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Jonathan Flyer, Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow in the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center. He is the 2015 Andrew King Research Award recipient. His focus is in researching the safest and most effective treatment for pediatric arrhythmias after transplant. His current research investigates the dose-related effect of a common antiarrhythmic medication, adenosine, on the pediatric heart post-transplant, so that it may be utilized appropriately in the emergent setting.
Registration is required on the Colin’s Kids website, www.colinskids.org, for this event.