Lifestyle Philanthropy

Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito join hands to save hearts

The Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation presented Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito Nov. 6 with nine Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), an $18,000 in-kind donation. The Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation is committed to protecting youth from sudden cardiac arrest through awareness, education and action. Eric Paredes was a healthy Steele Canyon High School sophomore athlete who died suddenly and unexpectedly from sudden cardiac arrest/death (SCA/D) in 2009. His parents, Hector Paredes and Rhina Paredes-Greeson, established the Foundation to honor him by preventing this tragedy from happening to other families.

With this donation, the Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation has distributed almost 100 AEDs in the community, protecting over 150,000 hearts in San Diego. AEDs are the only way to restart a heart after it has gone into sudden cardiac arrest. At the donation ceremony, Eric’s mother and co-founder of the Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation, Rhina Paredes-Greeson, shared the significance of this donation.

“Eric used to be a part of the El Cajon Boys & Girls Club and he loved it. We are so thrilled to create this partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of San Dieguito because we both have the ultimate goal of protecting children.”

Sudden cardiac arrest is the #1 cause of death of student athletes. Each year, the Foundation provides thousands of free heart screenings that lead to potentially life-saving intervention for hundreds of young people at risk of sudden cardiac arrest and death. The Foundation’s free heart screenings work to identify the 1 in 300 kids that have an undetected heart condition and are at risk for a sudden cardiac event. In 2019, the Screen Your Teen free heart-screening program will surpass 30,000 youth screened for free in San Diego.

Now in effect since July 1, 2017, the Eric Paredes Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act requires public, private, and charter school sponsored sports activities in grades K-12 to adhere to a sudden cardiac arrest prevention protocol. Many athletic activities in San Diego County, such as the club’s Big Ei8ht Middle School Sports League, take place outside of these settings.

“In an effort to create heart-safe after-school environments for San Diego youth, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito is proud to partner with the Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation to model how community organizations can mirror best practices on SCA prevention,” said Marineke Vandervort, CEO Boys and Girls Clubs of San Dieguito.

“This opportunity to donate life-saving equipment to the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito and begin partnering in support of SCA awareness and prevention is exciting. We are committed to eliminating the tragic consequences of sudden cardiac arrest in youth through programs like this and our Screen Your Teen free heart screening program,” said Hector Paredes, Eric’s father and co-founder of the Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation.

Join the Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation for the next free Screen Your Teen heart screening on Sunday, Feb. 10, at Westview High School in San Diego. The event is open to youth ages 12-25. To register, go to epsavealife.org/register. --News release

Pictured in photo above:

Maureen Legg, co-executive director of the Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation, Hector Paredes, president of the Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation, Diana Li, co-executive director and board member of the Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation, Marineke Vandervort, BGC San Dieguito chief executive officer, Joe Macleod, BGC San Dieguito chief operations officer, Bryan Moomjean, BGC San Dieguito facility director, Rhina Paredes, vice president and chair of the Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation.

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