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Simons Heart

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Heart & Circulatory System Diseases & Disorders Research, Pediatrics, Public Health

Mission: To save the life of a child . . . and then another, by raising awareness about the conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death.

Results: Simon's Heart has provided over 18,400 free heart screenings; 129 have discovered potentially-fatal heart conditions. We authored the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act, the first of its kind, which has now been passed in sixteen states. That act has educated over 1 million coaches. Through our GotAED platform, we have placed over 160 AED devices where kids learn and play. We have spread the knowledge of CPR to thousands of youth through our CPR Jukebox. We have produced PSAs with professional athletes and collegiate coaches to spread awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Simon's Heart has a sports cardiology fellow and it has developed HeartBytes, a digital registry to gather data and provide it to researchers, free of charge.

Target demographics: All school-aged students

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,000 students will get their hearts checked.

Geographic areas served: Greater Philadelphia area and beyond

Programs: Heart Screenings, AED placements and Education programs

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Our journey with Simon's Heart began when the heroes we know as Phyllis and Darren began this incredible organization to save lives. We wanted to support the cause and efforts as neighbors and parents of 6 kids to do our part to help save as many lives as possible. The journey hit closer to home when we attended one of the early heart screenings in 2007. Our daughter , Valerie, who was then only 6 already showed signs of being athletic and loving to play sports, but would tell us that she could feel her heart "beeping" when she would stop running or playing. We decided to take all of the kids to the heart screening on October 20, 2007. Within about 3 weeks we received a call from CHOP asking us to bring Valerie in as soon as possible for additional tests. It was determined that she had 2 unrelated heart conditions: Long QT Syndrome and an Atrial Septal Defect. The doctors were clear surgery was needed. Valerie had the ASD repaired and has since then been on a daily regimen of medication for the Long QTS. She has been doing well and over the years was cleared to play limited sports that restricted her movement on a field, like Goalkeeping for Soccer. As she has grown into a young woman, she has been cleared to engage in other activities that include her becoming an accomplished surfer. Had there not been a heart screening through this amazing organization, Val would have developed irreparable lung damage by her late teens, let alone Long QTS lurking beneath the surface. We will forever continue to be part of the mission that is nothing short of a gold standard for changing how this World protects youth and young lives. It is an honor and privilege to help this organization continue to grow and spread its wings .

Marguerite Donahue Q.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We become involved with Simon's Heart after our 15 year old daughter had a sudden cardiac arrest on the softball field. Luckily, she survived with the quick action of her coaches and trainers doing CPR and using the school's AED. In fact, the intensive care doctor told us that the quality of CPR our daughter recieved with the AED saved her life and her brain! After this occurred, our trainer reached out to Simon's HEart to set up a screening at our high school so no other family would have to experience what we went through. We know that early CPR and use of an AED saved our daughter's life and wanted to raise awareness for this where kids are playing or involved in sports. We have volunteered with Simons Heart since 2018 and are thrilled with the Addition of the CPR jukebox which teaches people hands on CPR . Raising awareness for Sudden Cardiac Arrest in kids is so important and Simon's Heart is fantastic in doing that with education, free screenings and the CPR jukebox.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been volunteering with Simon’s Heart for over 5 years now after my cardiologist introduced me to the co-founders, Darren and Phyllis. I was just 19 years old and had just recovered from a sudden cardiac arrest which was caused by a heart condition that I never knew that I had. Since my involvement with Simon’s Heart I have spoken to government officials to encourage the placement of AED’s in public parks and shared my story during Simon’s Heart community events and even public/private charity events. Simon’s Heart truly is an impactful organization that raises awareness for such an important cause. They have already saved countless lives! And I am so happy to help them do that by sharing my story on behalf of them.

Tracey Hatch R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first heard about Simon's Heart around 2010-2011 when Darren spoke at the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers Society gathering. It was right before Simon's Heart was able to get the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Bill passed in Pennsylvania. Little did I know that years later that I would be involved with them again. After one of my student athletes suffered a SCA during practice, I reached out to Simon's Heart to set up a heart screening for our school and surrounding community. It was so easy to set up. Simon's Heart took care of everything and made sure the day ran smoothly and because of that they were able to screen about 240 student athletes that day. Since then I have kept in touch and watched as Simon' Heart continues to do amazing things, like the addition of the CPR Jukebox to help learn hands only CPR and GotAED which helps to crowd fund AEDs. The work that Simon's Heart does is marvelous and they have not only helped many people but saved many lives with their work.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am an active board member and have been involved with Simon's Heart for over 16 years. The organization began in 2005 as a result of a tragedy where a 3 month old boy, Simon, was taking a nap and never woke up. It was later determined he died of a heart condition called Long QT Syndrome. Since then, Simon has saved the lives of so many children and the hope is that through our efforts, no parent should have to lose their child to a heart condition. Simon's Heart provides free heart screenings for children, raises awareness for sudden cardiac arrest, raises money to provide AED's for organizations that don't have them, teaches kids how to perform CPR and raises . It is such a privilege to be part of this amazing organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned about Simon's Heart through a friend that works with the organization and was excited to support them as a volunteer. Simons Heart is a truly one of a kind non-profit that not only raises money for an amazing cause but also pushes to increase awareness about the core issue and advocates for solutions and legislation to decrease preventable deaths in children and young athletes. Not only are they trying to make a difference by protecting youth's hearts, they also have so much fun and energy while doing it! Volunteering at a Simon's Heart event was one of the most fun experiences I had this summer. Warm and inviting staff along with other volunteers and charity participants, that have obviously been entrenched and dedicated to this fight for a long time, created an amazing atmosphere to engage, raise money, expand awareness and deepen the organization's family ties. As a nonprofit Simon's Heart really goes above and beyond and is a mission many people can unite around.

Darren S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a co-founder and board member of Simon's Heart. It was started in memory of my son, Simon. The organization has changed the way children are protected from and educated about sudden cardiac arrest.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

We started this organization eight years ago following the sudden death of our son. We just wanted to make sure that no other family and community had to endure the senseless and preventable death of a child. We have not achieved that goal. However, our accomplishments have exceeded our expectations. We have screened the hearts of over 6,000 students; helping 50 plus discover heart conditions. We have worked with lawmakers to pass the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act in two states. The law is pending in five others. We are working to establish the first Youth Heart Screening Registry. We are launching a new site called Screen Across America.

I have no doubt, that we will reach our goal - to make checking the hearts of children a standard of care.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an ambassador for Simon’s Heart. I was diagnosed with WPW Syndrome ten years ago, a heart arrhythmia similar to Simon’s (Long QT Syndrome). I have been fundraising and raising awareness for this awesome nonprofit because I believe in their well rounded mission to detect conditions, place AEDs, and teach CPR. It is so wonderful to actually see the impact of the mission when we save a life via a screening or teach CPR.

Mike M.21

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been supporting Simon's Heart for many years - for two reasons - the cause, and the manner in which it activates. We have saved lives through free heart screenings, we have adopted new laws in many states, and we teach life-saving skills.
Unlike many non-profits that are born out of tragedy, Simon's is stronger than ever, fifteen years later.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved with Simon's Heart in 2013. My brother passed away suddenly from Long QTS in 2010, so I was drawn to the mission. I met Darren and Phyllis and was inspired by their dedication to preventing death in young children's lives through early detection of treatable heart conditions, while wearing their grief so publicly.

For me what differentiates Simon's Heart is how thoughtful they are in their mission. It is not just that every child should have regular heart screenings, but that data should tell us when and how often, and that the medical system and infrastructure can support that volume without sacrificing quality healthcare. Screenings are critical, but they need to follow a standard and be interpreted by qualified experts.

Since joining the board, I continue to see an organization that is evolving while being thoughtful about how we accomplish our mission, and doing all that we can to make sure no parent loses a child to a preventable heart condition.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved in Simon's Fund for over 3 years and have watched this organization grow into a powerful force that is making a direct impact on saving children's lives. The commitment from the founders, Darren and Phyllis Sudman is to put every dollar into free heart screenings, research and educating the public on the signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest. As parents who lost their child because of an undiagnosed heart condition, they have chosen to dedicate their lives to "checking hearts and saving lives" and are an inspiration to all of us who serve on the board and our incredible team of volunteers.

The organization works tirelessly to pass legislation called the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act and to date has been successful in two states (PA and IL) with more to come. At almost every screening, a child is flagged for further testing because of a possible heart condition. To be involved with an organization that is so dynamic and committed to preventing children from dying from such a preventable condition makes me proud to be a board member and continues to drive my engagement.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My work with Simon's Fund is one of the most meaningful aspects of my life. As one of the board members responsible for the strategic direction of our Programming activities, I help ensure that our donations are put to great use screening children, advocating for state legislation and researching sudden cardiac arrest in children. Founded by my friends, Darren and Phyllis Sudman, in the wake of tragedy, our non-profit has grown into a nationally-recognized cause for good!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Simon's fund is the most incredible organization and has been saving lives for many years. The founders, Phyllis and Darren Sudman have devoted their lives to making sure that other families never have to face the same type of tragedy that they faced when their precious little boy, Simon shockingly passed away at three months of age in 2005. Over the years, they have held heart screenings at countless school districts and have already saved many lives. They will continue to save lives and I feel honored to be part of this incredible cause!!!!

Advisor

Rating: 4

I learned about Simon's Fund several years ago and was immediately drawn to their story. Since I have been helping the organization generate publicity. I have attended many of their screenings and watched families have the opportunity to learn whether their child was at serious risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and if so, be directed to the proper medical professionals to keep their child safe. In addition, I was honored to be part of the organization's lobbying effort to make PA the first state to pass legislation to protect student athletes. Since, they have worked tirelessly to spread the legislation to other states, and are succeeding in doing so. This organization combines passionate dedication to a cause with an ability to navigate the system and get things done expediently -- that is unusual in a small non profit.

jsudman

Donor

Rating: 5

I am Simon's grandmother. He died while taking an evening nap lying next to his mother. He didn't cry out, he didn't jerk or move, he just never woke up. Thanks to some dedicated medical people we found out that Simon suffered from an irregular heart beat called Long QT Syndrome. The mission of Simon's Fund (simonsfund.org) is to save a child’s life . . . and then another, by raising awareness of conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death. In a short five years my children have screened over 3500 children in the greater Philadelphia area; they have saved the lives of 35 young people, about one in every hundred. Simon's Fund has played a major role in getting legislation passed in PA to make sure athletes who suffer from dizziness or fainting (number one sign of a possible heart condition) get medical treatment. Italy screens the hearts of all their children; their mortality rate dropped by 89%. Simon's Fund wants all children to have their hearts screened so that no other family has to go through what my children went through.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My three month old grandson, Simon, died; months later his parents started Simon's Fund so that no other family would feel the pain of loosing a precious child. For the last five years Phyllis and Darren have found the strength to coordinate heart screenings to save other lives; to date 20 children have benefited from their determination and dedication to changing the course of children with unknown heart defects. Each time another child dies on a field, court, swimming pool deck, Phyllis and Darren feel the pain of the parents and yet become more determined to organize another screening, another fund raiser,another way to involve the meidcal community in their crusade. They fight the sadness of a lost child daily, yet with the support of many they are able to continue living knowing they are helping another family.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Simons Fund is run by amazing people who are committed to the mission in every way. I was a part of volunteering for an event run by Simons fund. We held a screening in Norristown. A urban city in the heart (no pun intended) of Montgomery County. We were able to screen over 300 young people after a student from our high school passed away. The community came together to support Simons fund by showing up to get screened.
This is an organization that operates with integrity. This is an organization that does not just show up to do an event. Simons fund became part of our community and engaged with families to ensure trust.
I heard so many comments from parents of appreciation.
I am grateful for this organization and it's mission to save the lives of young people.